Rebels Begin their Long, Treacherous Retreat from New Mexico

April 13, 1862 (Sunday) Union Col. Edward Canby was poised to take Albuquerque, defended by no more than 200 Rebels. His force, 1,100-strong, could have captured the city, but he was unsure just when the rest of the Confederates, moving south from Santa Fe, under the command of General Henry Sibley, would arrive. When combined,Read More

Lincoln to McClellan: “You Must Act”

April 9, 1862 (Wednesday) While the Battle of Shiloh raged for two days in the west, General George McClellan’s Army of the Potomac moved not an inch. Four long days has passed since McClellan learned that the Confederates had fortified across the entire Virginia Peninsula. He had expected them to retreat to Yorktown, which heRead More

McClellan’s First Good Day is Also His Last

April 4, 1862 (Friday) Though the Confederates in the Shenandoah Valley and south of Washington had fallen back, Lincoln was still apprehensive over covering the capital. The Rebels had fallen back to Fredericksburg, Orange Court House and Mount Jackson (in the Valley), but Washington wasn’t fully aware of how many were where. So worried andRead More

Rebels Prepare to Attack Grant; McClellan Loses His First Corps

April 3, 1862 (Thursday) “There is no need of haste,” wrote General Ulysses S. Grant to the vanguard of his reinforcements, “come on by easy marches.” The Union armies of Generals Grant and Buell were about to unite after weeks of waiting. Grant and his command occupied Pittsburg Landing, along the Tennessee River, while Buell’sRead More

George B. McClellan’s Fuzzy Math and Opportune Egress

April 1, 1862 (Tuesday – All Fool’s Day) Washington was growing too hot for General George McClellan. The War Department were still meddling and just the previous day, Lincoln had bowed to political pressures and reduced McClellan’s Army of the Potomac by transferring General Blenker’s entire division, roughly 10,000 men, to Western Virginia. McClellan wasRead More

Stonewall Jackson and the Confederate Draft

March 30, 1862 (Sunday) The defeated army of Stonewall Jackson had retreated all the way back to their original camp, near Mount Jackson following their loss at the Battle of Kernstown. The victorious Union forces followed, but only half-heartedly, refusing to give Jackson battle on ground of his own choosing. Now, without the fear ofRead More

McClellan’s Plan Discovered! Johnston Ordered to Reinforce the Peninsula

March 27, 1862 (Thursday) Ten days had passed since Union General George B. McClellan had started his Army of the Potomac to Fortress Monroe. This change of base, from around Washington to the Virginia Peninsula, was the first step in his conquest of Richmond. Almost daily had the transport vessels been arriving. By this date,Read More

“We Are In For It”: Jackson’s Impertinence Costs Him Dearly at Kernstown

March 23, 1862 (Sunday) It is easy to believe that the scrap between Union skirmishers and Turner Ashby’s Rebel cavalry, the previous day, would have caused both sides to be overly cautious. That seems not to have been the case. The Confederates, under General Stonewall Jackson, were marching northward from their camp, some forty milesRead More

The Deceptive Little Skirmish Before Kernstown

March 22, 1862 (Saturday) After the few days’ reconnaissance and tangling with what he, at first, believed was Stonewall Jackson’s entire force, General Shields could relax. He had taken his division south from Winchester, chasing the retreating Rebels, had exchanged shots with Turner Ashby’s cavalry and had determined that Jackson was staying put near MountRead More

Stonewall Jackson and the Mennonites Who Could Not Be Made to Aim

March 21, 1862 (Friday) It must have been surprising, at least curious, that an entire Federal division, poised to move up the Shenandoah Valley, faced with a mere 700 cavalry, did not pursue the much smaller Rebel force under Stonewall Jackson. After their minor scrap with Turner Ashby’s troopers near Strasburg, Union General Shields’ DivisionRead More