Of Ice and Blood, of Wind and a Town Forsaken

January 7, 1862 (Tuesday) Listen to the mocking bird Listen to the mocking bird This dawn brought no light to the skies over Stonewall Jackson’s men, trudging south from the Potomac River towards Romney. The temperatures, well below freezing, seemed ever colder, with ceaseless winds, and ice underfoot. The weather could be seen only inRead More

Rebel Reaction to Direct Action; Generals Promoted and Replaced

November 9, 1861 (Saturday) Five railroad bridges aiding the Confederates in eastern Tennessee had been burned the previous night by Unionist citizens. Several more had been threatened. It was clear to those of Southern sympathy that an uprising was at hand. While most of the bridge burners escaped and were awaiting the advance of theRead More

Stonewall Jackson Bids a Tearful Good-bye

November 4, 1861 (Monday) General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson rose in his stirrups, raised his arms and addressed the men of the First Brigade, the Stonewall Brigade. Having saved the day at Manassas, their General, rising in popularity, rank and responsibility, was leaving them. Jackson had been given command of the Shenandoah Valley. The promotion, however,Read More

General Grant Amplifies an Order

November 3, 1861 (Sunday) As General John C. Fremont, finally relieved of command, left his headquarters in Springfield for St. Louis, other events in Missouri began to take shape. Since taking the field in late September, the command structure in the Western Department was curious. Fremont focused almost all of his attention upon chasing downRead More

How General Fremont Nearly Retained Command; McClellan Bids Scott Adieu

November 2, 1861 (Saturday) General John C. Fremont had long been a thorn in the side of the Lincoln administration. Being an ardent abolitionist, Fremont took the opportunity to free the slaves owned by disloyal Missourians, an act Lincoln quickly reprimanded. He would also imprison those who, like Frank Blair, went against his rule asRead More

Joint Expedition to Port Royal Underway; Swett Arrives in St. Louis

October 29, 1861 (Tuesday) Throughout the summer and early autumn of 1861, it became clear that a full, successful blockade of South Atlantic ports was nearly impossible. The blockade of Charleston, specifically, involved a refueling issue. The ships had to return to a northern port for more coal. Seizing a Southern port and turning itRead More

Missouri Passes Ordinance of Secession (Sort Of…); Cheers for Jeff Davis, Jesus Christ and the Devil

Monday, October 28, 1861 Union General John C. Fremont’s occupation of Springfield, Missouri was part of his southward thrust towards the Missouri State Guard under General Sterling Price, now occupying Neosho, seventy miles southwest. There, what was left of the secessionist Missouri legislature was meeting and attempting to pass an ordinance of secession. Though GovernorRead More

Fremont Arrives in Springfield, Makes Wild Claims

Sunday, October 27, 1861 The small, but surprising, Union victory in Springfield, Missouri on the 25th had paved the way for General John C. Fremont and his Army of the West to enter the town on this date. Fremont arrived towards evening, accompanied by an infantry division commanded by General Franz Sigel. For a month,Read More

The Battle of Springfield; Union to Invade CSA’s Arizona!

Friday, October 25, 1861 Though he had been, more or less, fired the previous day, it would take awhile for General John C. Fremont to hear of the news. In the meantime, he and his Army of the West were about fifty miles north of Springfield, Missouri, encamped along the Pomme de Terre River. JustRead More

Transcontinental Telegraph Completed: What God Hath Wrought

Thursday, October 24, 1861 In the early days of the war, news from east coast to the west traveled no faster than a horse. Specifically, no faster than a pony of the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, otherwise known as the Pony Express, which bragged that it could get mail from MissouriRead More