The Last Volley of the War

May 13, 1865 (Saturday) Union Colonel Theodore Barrett, 62nd US Colored Troops, official report1: On the morning of the 13th about 200 men of the Thirty-fourth Indiana Veteran Volunteer Infantry, under Lieutenant-Colonel Morrison, joined Lieutenant-Colonel Branson. Assuming command in person of the forces thus united. I at once ordered an advance to be again madeRead More

‘You Can Retreat and Go To Hell If You Wish!’ – Undefeated Rebels in Texas

May 12, 1865 (Friday) The day previous, Col. Theodore Barrett, commanding the Federal troops at Brazos Santiago, Texas, ordered 250 men under Col. David Branson to attack and hold the nearby port of Brownsville. They marched, but were stymied by a storm and rerouted. Finding themselves in the dead of night near to a suspectedRead More

‘I Regret This Conclusion’ – The War Continues in Texas

May 11, 1865 (Thursday) The mouth of the Rio Grande River had been guarded by a small blockade of Federal ships and less than 1,000 men stationed on the small island of Brazos Santiago. In late February, General Lew Wallace (who would later gain fame for his novel Ben-Hur), was sent south from Washington toRead More

New Mexico Rebels’ Week-Long Waterless Retreat

April 21, 1862 (Monday) Nearly a week had passed since General Sibley’s Confederate Army of New Mexico slipped away from the battlefield at Peralta. By this date, they had lost much more than the campaign, abandoning supplies, equipment, guns, clothes and ammunition in a struggle to survive the scorched and dehydrated desert. Following the AprilRead More

One Last Battle of New Mexico

April 15, 1862 (Tuesday) Every great campaign of the war seems to end with a small and hardly-remembered battle following the major one. As we will see, the Antietam Campaign will have Shepherdstown, the Gettysburg Campaign will have Williamsport, and even Bermuda Hundred has its Ware Bottom Church. And so, Sibley’s New Mexico Campaign hadRead More

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