Union Fleet off of Port Royal, SC! Can R.E. Lee Visit His Wife and Save the Port?

November 5, 1861 (Tuesday) As the sun lit up the Atlantic sky over Port Royal, South Carolina, the masts of the Union Naval fleet under Flag Officer Du Pont appeared like a forest growing out of the sea. Two Rebel forts, Beauregard and Walker, guarded the inlet. The Union wanted a port on the SouthernRead More

Mason and Slidell Arrive in Cuba; More Troops for Kentucky

Thursday, October 17, 1861 The Union Navy was quickly realizing that it stood no chance of catching up with the CSS Nashville, the steamer they thought was carrying Confederate envoys to Europe, James Mason and John Slidell. Two ships, the USS James Adger and USS Curlew had been dispatched to intercept the Nashville. While theRead 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

Mason and Slidell are Off to Europe!

Saturday, October 12, 1861 At this point in the War, Confederate President Jefferson Davis was clear about several things. For one, the quick victory that many expected after Bull Run was not going to happen. For another, as the War tarried on, the Union blockade of Southern ports would only grow tighter. Also, the ConfederacyRead More

The Capture of Another “English” Ship; Sherman’s New Command

Sunday, October 6, 1861 As the morning sun rose over Charleston, South Carolina, Captain John Marston of the USS Roanoke spied a schooner sailing towards land, flying the Palmetto Flag. Marston immediately signaled for the USS Flag, a screw steamer, originally named the Phineas Sprague, to give chase. As the Flag pulled closer to theRead More

Bagging Rebel Blockade Runners; The Chicamacomico Races

Friday, October 4, 1861 The USS South Carolina, a steamer carrying five naval guns, captured the Joseph H. Toone in the South West Pass of the Mississippi River. Captain James Alden suspected her of being a Confederate blockade runner, bringing arms and contraband of war into the Southern States via New Orleans. He was notRead 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

US Congressman Attacked at Camp; War’s First Torpedoes

Sunday, July 7, 1861 Clement Vallandigham wasn’t actually a secessionist. Neither was he a traitor nor an abolitionist. But to many, as an anti-war Democrat from Ohio, he was both of those things and more. The United States representative and Dayton lawyer was against slavery on moral grounds. He blamed radical abolitionists for secession andRead More

Lincoln Suspends Writ of Habeas Corpus; Jackson to the Valley

Saturday, April 27, 1861 After Lincoln considered shutting down the Maryland legislature, he got word that the railroads between Washington and Philadelphia were under threat of attack by Rebels in Maryland. With this in mind, he wrote to General Scott. The President had already promised not to send troops through Baltimore, opting to bring troopsRead More