The Stalemate-Turned-Enslaught of Chickasaw Bayou

December 29, 1862 (Monday) In a word, it had been frustrating. William Tecumseh Sherman’s Corps had landed at Chicasaw Bayou, just north of Confederate-held Vicksburg. For two days they had fought a smattering of Rebel delaying actions that worked all too well. The force that had been at Vicksburg when Sherman’s 31,000 arrived had beenRead More

Sherman Arrives Before Vicksburg

December 26, 1862 (Friday) William Tecumseh Sherman was not in command. Though he assembled the troops and arranged for help from the Naval fleet, this was not his show. Even though the commanding officer, the political general, John McClernand, was still in Illinois, Sherman was merely another officer. Highly placed, true, but not in command.Read More

The CSS Arkansas is Lost; Garnett Thrashes Jackson with His Own Words

August 6, 1862 (Wednesday) The crew of the CSS Arkansas had done their best to limp their vessel from Vicksburg to Baton Rouge. There, they had hoped to aid General John Breckinridge in recapturing Louisiana’s state capital. Just as they pulled in sight of the city, one of her engines died, while the other pushedRead More

Rebel Failure at Baton Rouge; Federals Take Malvern; Jackson vs. Garnett

August 5, 1862 (Tuesday) General John Breckinridge had begun his march from Camp Moore with nearly 5,000 troops. Due to disease, unforgiving humidity, and the hard, sixty mile tramp towards Union-held Baton Rouge, by this date, his force was half that. As he was losing men, Breckinridge had heard that Federal forces placed in defenseRead More

McClellan’s Army of the Potomac Ordered to Retreat Off the Peninsula

August 3, 1862 (Sunday) “In consequence of the incompetency of guides furnished me,” wrote an incredibly virulent General Joe Hooker, “I regret to be obliged to inform you that I have deemed it expedient to return to camp.” Based upon rumors delivered from Washington that General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was leaving Richmond, GeneralRead More

A Day with the New Rebel Ironclad, Arkansas

July 15, 1862 (Wednesday) By June of 1862, the Confederates had lost all of their major strongholds on the Mississippi River except Vicksburg, Mississippi and Port Hudson, Louisiana. New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Natchez had fallen downstream of the city, while Island No. 10, Fort Pillow and Memphis had been taken to the north. ThoughRead More

The Death of General Turner Ashby, Terror of the Shenandoah Valley; Memphis Falls

June 6, 1862 (Friday) The head of the Valley Army under Stonewall Jackson had reached Port Republic, while its tail was just south of Harrisonburg. Though Jackson had beat one Federal division under General James Shields to Port Republic, an entire corps of troops under General John C. Fremont was in close pursuit. Morning wasRead More

Union Fleet En Route to Memphis! Lee Brags of Jackson

June 5, 1862 (Thursday) Everything was set. The infantry was ready and aboard the transports. Their colonel, Graham Fitch, had discovered Confederate Fort Pillow’s weakness and was determined to assault the Mississippi River bastion by land, supported by the Federal Navy, commanded by Captain Charles Davis. Both Fitch and Davis wanted to make the assaultRead More

The Abandonment of Fort Pillow

June 3, 1862 (Tuesday) General P.G.T. Beauregard’s withdraw from Corinth, Mississippi may have saved his army, but it doomed Confederate strongholds along the Mississippi River. The most immediately effected was Fort Pillow, a well-armed series of batteries overlooking the water, forty miles north of Memphis. Though construction started nearly a year previous, it wasn’t untilRead More

Stonewall Jackson and Ewell Prepare to Disregard Orders; Surrender of Vicksburg Demanded

May 18, 1862 (Sunday) The Spring of 1862 in the Shenandoah Valley was shaping up to be beautiful, and this quiet Sunday was no different. As the camp of Stonewall Jackson knelt in prayer near Mt. Solon, a very flustered and conflicted General Richard Ewell dropped by unannounced and without orders. This Sabbath would notRead More