Ambushing in Western Virginia

Saturday, July 6, 1861 General George McClellan liked to think that he had an intimate knowledge of everything under his command. At this time, he was micromanaging the planned assault on Confederate General Garnett’s men near Beverly, western Virginia. Without McClellan’s knowledge or orders, Captain Lawson led fifty men of the Third Ohio out ofRead More

Confederates Invade Missouri! Lincoln’s Message to Congress

Thursday, July 4, 1861 After Arkansas seceded from the Union, General Benjamin McCulloch was given command of all state forces. McCulloch was already a Confederate Colonel busy piecing together what would eventually become the Confederate Army of the West. He was a hard fighter in the Texas Revolution and Mexican War, even befriending Davy CrockettRead More

Catching Up With Missouri; Patterson Stays Put

Monday, July 1, 1861 After his relatively simple victory in Boonville, Missouri, Union General Nathaniel Lyon spent the next two weeks preparing to march. His opponents, Missouri Governor Claiborne Jackson and General Sterling Price, had fled the area. Price had separated from the Missouri State Guard and Jackson in order to recruit more men. ByRead More

St. Nick Gives Up; McDowell Sets a Date

Saturday, June 29, 1861 As dawn broke over the Potomac River, the St. Nicolas, captured the day before by the Rebels, steamed against the current searching for the USS Pawnee. Captain Hollins and Colonel Thomas, along with a regiment of Tennessee soldiers, hoped to take the dreaded Union vessel by using a civilian ship asRead More

McClellan Arrives; The Rebels Read Scott’s Mind

Saturday, June 22, 1861 Reports and rumors of large numbers of Rebels in Beverly and Piedmont, western Virginia weighed on the minds of some Union officers in the region. General Morris, whose plan of attack scattered the Rebels at Philippi, was sure he had a large force to contend with. General George B. McClellan, commanderRead More

Patterson’s Plan was Much Like Scott’s; The New Virginia

Friday, June 21, 1861 Union General-in-Chief Winfield Scott already had a plan of operation in mind when he asked Generals McDowell and Patterson to submit their ideas to him. He wanted the Rebels swept from Leesburg and a coordinated assault between the two Generals. After a night of contemplation, General Patterson, with troops near HagerstownRead More

Jackson Destroys the Rails While the Union Contemplates an Advance

Thursday, June 20, 1861 Colonel Thomas J. Jackson gave his men a scant few hours of sleep on the road to Martinsburg, Virginia. He had been ordered by General Joe Johnston to destroy the large B&O Railroad shops so they might not fall into Union hands. Confederate Cavalry, 300 strong, under Jeb Stuart were alreadyRead More

Rebels Attack B&O Where No Rebels Should Be; Jackson Marches

Wednesday, June 19, 1861 Through the pre-dawn haze, two companies of Rebel troops from Tennessee peered out from the hills surrounding the small Piedmont town of New Creek [now called Keyser], along a bend in the Potomac River, 20 miles west of Cumberland. A small B&O Railroad depot was guarded by a 200 – 300Read More

Skirmishes at Boonville, Pooleville and Vienna; Johnston to Attack!

Monday, June 17, 1861 Missouri’s capital had fallen to the Union. Governor Jackson and General Price, pro-secessionists both, had fled with the state government and the Missouri State Guard, to Boonville, 40 miles up the Missouri River. When Union General Lyon discovered their new base, he and his 1,700 men steamed towards them. The campRead More

Union Troops Move into Maryland, Confederates Take Defensive

Saturday, June 15, 1861 As Harpers Ferry still smoldered from the Rebel evacuation of the day before, Union General Patterson set into motion his advance from southern Pennsylvania into Maryland. The march was lead by General Cadwalader, who was ordered to attack Maryland Heights opposite Harpers Ferry. There, Patterson believed, the Rebels would make theirRead More