Cherokee Nations Rejoins the Union, Renounces Slavery (Sort Of)

February 26, 1863 (Thursday) The decision made by the Cherokee Nation to join with the Confederacy was not come to lightly. Many who were slave-holding Natives, wanted to side with the South. Others, who did not own slaves, wished to remain neutral or even go with the North. In August of 1861, after the ConfederateRead More

Kirby Smith Inherits the Department Nobody Wants

February 9, 1863 (Monday) The Confederate Department of the Trans-Mississippi had been for quite some time now, more or less, without an overall commander. The department itself was huge, encompassing nearly 600,000 square miles. It consisted of Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Indian Territory (Oklahoma), Texas and Confederate Arizona Territory (southern New Mexico and Arizona). The DepartmentRead More

Two Battles End Two Campaigns West of the Mississippi

January 11, 1863 (Sunday) General Ulysses S. Grant, upon hearing about John McClernand’s decision to take two of his corps up the Arkansas River to attack Confederate Fort Hindman was incredibly unhappy. William Tecumseh Sherman had tried to take Vicksburg and failed. Grant viewed McClernand’s move to hit Fort Hindman, well off the Mississippi River,Read More

In Missouri, Yankees and Rebels Barely Miss Each Other

January 10, 1863 (Saturday) Union General Fitz Henry Warren was not an unknown figure in the Civil War, though history remembers him little. Before the war, he had served in the Zachary Taylor’s administration and became an ardent abolitionist. When war broke out, he was working as an editor at Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune,Read More

Despite Setbacks, Rebels Continue on Through Missouri

January 9, 1863 (Friday) So far, Marmaduke’s Raid into Union-held Missouri had been just that – Marmaduke’s raid. It was Marmaduke’s Rebels who had taken Fort Lawrence, captured Ozark and fought (and lost) the battle of Springfield. Originally, however, Springfield had not been an objective. When Marmaduke set out, his eyes had been set uponRead More

With One Wild Missouri Yell: The Second Battle of Springfield

January 8, 1863 (Thursday) Nearly a year and a half of terrible conflict and blood had slowly flowed by since Springfield, Missouri had last witnessed the horrors of the battlefield. Much had changed since August of 1861, when Confederate forces of the west defeated the Union army at Wilson’s Creek, just south of the city.Read More

“6,000 Rebels” About to Fall Upon Springfield, Missouri!

January 7, 1862 (Wednesday) Captain Milton Burch wasn’t sure what to make of the news. He and 100 men from the 14th Missouri State Militia Cavalry (US) had left the defended town of Ozark, Missouri on the 5th, moving south towards Arkansas. Hoping to find reinforcements to bring back with him, he instead found twoRead More

The Rebel Marmaduke Raids into Missouri!

January 6, 1863 (Tuesday) The Confederate situation in Arkansas, following the Prairie Grove Campaign, was not so bright and cheery. Before the end of December, Union forces under James Blunt followed the Rebel Army of the Trans-Mississippi to their home in Van Buren, along the Arkansas River. There, they prepared to attack them, but wereRead More

Davis has Some Suggestions (Not Orders) for Arkansas

It wasn’t that Jefferson Davis thought Joe Johnston a mad man. The Confederate president didn’t have a sneaking suspicion that his highest western commander was all messed up on laudanum or even that he was trying to be a relentlessly obstinate little twit. Davis simply thought Johnston was wrong. It wasn’t really even a thought,Read More

The Morning After Prairie Grove

December 8, 1862 (Monday) The Confederate withdrawal from the battlefield at Prairie Grove, Arkansas was ordered before midnight. General Thomas Hindman, commanding the Army of the Trans-Mississippi, claimed a Southern victory, retaining every inch of the ground he defended against the Union Army of the Frontier. But such a victory was hollow. He had littleRead More