The CSA Calls Upon Tennessee for Troops

Saturday, September 21, 1861 Since taking command of all Confederate troops in the Trans-Mississippi, General Albert Sidney Johnston had decided upon making a full scale invasion of Kentucky. Thus far, three small armies held three strategic positions in the state, creating a thinly stretched line from Cumberland Gap in the east to the Mississippi RiverRead More

Albert Sidney Johnston Plans Full Scale Invasion of Kentucky

Tuesday, September 17, 1861 Before the War, Albert Sidney Johnston commanded the United States Department of the Pacific. When word finally reached California that Texas had seceded from the Union, he joined up with the Los Angeles Mounted Rifles, a secessionist outfit, and headed through the desert in the middle of summer, passed through aRead More

Lee Doesn’t Quite Admit Defeat; Fremont Almost Responds

Saturday, September 14, 1861 For two days, General Lee’s troops from the Army of the Northwest were poised around Cheat Mountain and Elkwater in Western Virginia. His complex plan of a surprise attack had failed the first day and his plan to get around the Union flank on the second day met with not muchRead More

The Death of Washington and the Coming Siege of Lexington

Friday, September 13, 1861 The odd, almost-battle of the previous day left both sides more or less in the same positions. The Union held Cheat Mountain and Elkwater, seven miles to the west. The Confederates occupied the Union front, rear the right flank at Cheat, and the front and left flank at Elkwater. Lee’s planRead More

The Bungled Affair at Cheat Mountain

Thursday, September 12, 1861 The Confederate plan of attack at Cheat Mountain in Western Virginia was, by dawn, ready. Each of the five brigades were in position and the Union forces on Cheat and at Elkwater, seven miles to the west, were completely unaware that General Lee was about to attack them. General Lee hadRead More

On the Eve of General Lee’s Surprise

Wednesday, September 11, 1861 By this cold and rainy morning, General Lee’s brigades of the Army of the Northwest were reaching their positions. The complex plan of attack, issued on September 8th, was made more complex by the cliffs, rocky valleys, impenetrable forests and mountain spurs. Of the five brigades, four had already left theirRead More

Lincoln and Scott Look to Wrangle Fremont

Thursday, September 5, 1861 General John C. Fremont, Union commander of the Western Department, was out of control and out of his depths. President Lincoln knew he had to be replaced, but was unsure who would be up to the incredibly difficult task of keeping Missouri in the Union. Lincoln met with General-in-Chief Winfield ScottRead More

The Rebels Burn Hampton, Virginia; A Possible Prisoner Exchange?

Wednesday, August 7, 1861 General Benjamin Butler had been in a quandary over what to do with the 800 or more escaped slaves that had taken shelter near Fortress Monroe on the Virginia Peninsula. He had assumed that since they were considered property by the enemy, they could be confiscated as “contraband of war.” Butler’sRead More

Lincoln Doesn’t Quite Free the Slaves; Lee in WV

Tuesday, August 6, 1861 Abraham Lincoln was in the Senate chambers to sign the bills voted on and approved. Before him were bills raising the pay of soldiers, promoting generals and, most importantly, Senator Lyman Trumbull’s Confiscation Act. Lincoln hesitated as he was about to sign it. Some would certainly see this as the firstRead More

Rebels in Missouri Decide to Attack; Rebels in Western Virginia Think Twice

Sunday, August 4, 1861 The morning broke over the Rebel camp at Crane Creek, Missouri with all the uncertainty that two tactical losses could bring. The Rebel force of 10,000 was actually two forces. The Confederates, commanded by General Ben McCulloch, consisted of two brigades of roughly 5,000 well-trained men from Arkansas, Texas and Louisiana.Read More