Pony Express Shuts Down; The First Battle of Romney

Saturday, October 26, 1861 Our Friend, the Little Pony, is to Run No More The Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, founded on April 3, 1860, and more famously remembered as the Pony Express, on this date, announced that it would be shutting down operations. Just two days prior, the Transcontinental Telegraph lineRead More

We Have Met With a Sad Disaster

Tuesday, October 22, 1861 Everything was still being sorted out at Ball’s Bluff. The battle had ended after nightfall in a crushing and confusing defeat for the Union. Telegrams between General Stone, commanding at the battle, General McClellan and President Lincoln shot across the wires through the night. In Washington, Lincoln was heartbroken to learnRead More

General Scott To Retire Whether He Likes It Or Not

Friday, October 18, 1861 General-in-Chief Winfield Scott, seventy-five years old, knew it was time to retire. The strain of commanding the entire Union army had become too much to bear. Much of that stress came from General George B. McClellan, called to Washington by Scott, himself, to aid the ailing General. It was clear thatRead More

Lexington Recaptured by Union! Battle of Bolivar Heights

Wednesday, October 16, 1861 When word of General Jeff Thompson’s raid along the Ironton Railroad and destruction of the Big River Bridge reached General Fremont, he knew just who to blame. This was all Frank Blair Jr.’s fault. Though he never mentioned Blair by name, Fremont, through his “acting aide-de-camp,” explained that ,”the effect ofRead More

Jeff Thompson Arrives Early, Burns a Bridge, Kills Some Yankees

Tuesday, October 15, 1861 General Jeff Thompson, of the Missouri State Guards, planned a northward push towards St. Louis, Missouri. His main goal was to destroy the Ironton Railroad and distract some Union forces away from General Sterling Price in the southwest corner of the state. Thompson and 3,000 troops (500 cavalry, 2,500 infantry, includingRead More

Lincoln Promises McClellan He Will Not Be Hurried

Thursday, October 10, 1861 By this time, Union General George McClellan had positioned his Army of the Potomac in a fine defensive position around Washington. All of his divisions protected the capital from any sort of Rebel invasion. From south to north, Heintzelman and Franklin covered Alexandria, Sumner and Keyes covered the ground between AlexandriaRead More

Jackson Arrives at Manassas; Patterson in the Dark, Out the Door

Friday, July 19, 1861 General Thomas Jackson had his men up and at Piedmont Station on the Manassas Gap Railroad not long after dawn. They were the vanguard of General Johnston’s Confederate Army of the Shenandoah, en route to reinforce General Beauregard at Manassas. Union General Patterson, nearby, was to make Johnston think that heRead More

Battle of Blackburn’s Ford and Johnston Steals a March

Thursday, July 18, 1861 General McDowell’s Union Army converged upon Centreville on the third day of their march towards the Confederate Army of the Potomac in a line along Bull Run near Manassas, Virginia. The Confederates covered the fords and bridges along the run, protecting the railroad hub of Manassas Junction. McDowell was aware ofRead More

McDowell Moves Deeper While Patterson Blunders

Wednesday, July 17, 1861 Not too long after the last Union troops filtered into their camps, the bugles sounded, calling them to fall into line. General McDowell’s marching orders for the previous day had been light, but today he expected to engage the Rebels at Fairfax Court House, fifteen miles from General Beauregard’s Confederate ArmyRead More

Revenge on the High Seas! The Union Advances Towards Manassas!

Tuesday, July 16, 1861 The Revenge of William Tilghman of the S.J. Waring Rebel privateers in the brig Jeff Davis had captured the S.J. Waring on July 7. For the past week, they had been sailing for a Southern port. Four of the Waring‘s original crew, still on board, were put to work on theRead More