The Queen of the West Lost! Treachery! Disobeyed Orders! A Hellish Nightmare!

February 14, 1863 (St. Valentine’s Day – Saturday) The Queen of the West was far from where she was supposed to be. In Admiral David Dixon Porter’s orders to Col. Charles Ellet, the Queen‘s commander, he specifically instructed that she should stay near the mouth of the Red River, along the Mississippi. On the morningRead More

Joe Johnston Arrives in the West, Has Busy First Day

December 4, 1862 (Thursday) Confederate General Joe Johnston had finally arrived in Chattanooga to start his new job as commander of the Department of the West. Spread out before him was a vast expanse of land that stretched from the Appalachian Mountains to the Mississippi River. Within it, he now commanded two large Confederate armies.Read More

Grant’s Army of the Tennessee Moves South; Complaints About “Unprincipled Sharpers and Jews”

November 30, 1862 (Sunday) General Ulysses S. Grant felt fairly confident that the Confederate army retiring before him could be dealt with if his own army moved swiftly and the enemy didn’t entrench. It was getting late in the season. Soon the rains would turn the roads to thick paste and any plan for aRead More

Grant Begins His Campaign Towards Vicksburg!

November 2, 1862 (Sunday) For weeks, the Union Army of the Tennessee had largely been idle. Some, like the units previously commanded by General William Rosecrans, had seen action at Iuka and Corinth, but for others, spread across Western Tennessee, the late summer and early autumn was relatively uneventful. So when the order came fromRead More

Retreat, Advance, Retreat and Advance in the Hills of Arkansas

November 1, 1862 (Saturday) In the week and a half since the small battle of Old Fort Wayne, Confederate hopes for a move into Kansas from Arkansas and Indian Territory had been dashed. Douglas Cooper, who had led the Rebels that day against James Blunt’s Federals, had retreated over fifty miles south to the ArkansasRead More

Grant Has Some Good Ideas That Will Probably Fall Upon Washington’s Deaf Ears

October 26, 1862 (Sunday) The scuttlebutt coming into General Ulysses S. Grant’s headquarters was that a significant force of Confederates under Sterling Price was moving north from their camp at Holly Springs, Mississippi. Scouts apparently saw the force several miles south of Grand Junction. As a precaution, Grant ordered nearby troops to have three daysRead More

Rosecrans Receives Orders to Remove Buell, Who Receives Only Silence

October 24, 1862 (Friday) Don Carlos Buell was a man who was struggling. He struggled when Confederates under Braxton Bragg made quick time to Chattanooga in July. He struggled again in August when Bragg and Kirby Smith began their moves into Kentucky. The entire month of September, with Bragg giving him the slip and SmithRead More

More Changes than You Can Count – Buell On His Way Out!

October 23, 1862 (Wednesday) Ulysses S. Grant had recently learned that he was now in command of a department that included all of Western Tennessee, parts of Northern Mississippi, some of Kentucky, and Cairo, Illinois. To cover this ground, Grant was also a man with hardly an army. His Army of the Tennessee was stretchedRead More

Changes, Scheming and Waiting in the West

October 20, 1862 (Monday) Confederate success in the West was hard to come by. Nowhere was this more obvious than along the Mississippi River. Every single Rebel stronghold, from Fort Pillow to New Orleans, had been lost to Federal forces. That is, except for Vicksburg and Port Hudson. If Vicksburg fell, however, Port Hudson wouldn’tRead More

Race to Louisville? What Race to Louisville?

September 21, 1862 (Sunday) After capturing the Union garrison at Munfordville, Kentucky, Confederate General Bragg’s Army of Mississippi seemingly cut off the Union Army of the Ohio from Louisville, where Bragg believed the Federals under General Don Carlos Buell were headed. Here, Bragg was faced with a choice. He could dive his 26,000 men backRead More