Members of Arkansas Peace Society Arrested as Traitors

November 28, 1861 (Thanksgiving Thursday) Pacifism and peace societies, especially during the Victorian Era, have most often been associated with New England. In times of war, such conscientious objectors are often painted as unpatriotic cowards or religious zealots, such as the Shakers, Quakers or Dunkers. Though it’s largely been seen as a Northern phenomena, NewRead More

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

Transcontinental Telegraph Completed: What God Hath Wrought

Thursday, October 24, 1861 In the early days of the war, news from east coast to the west traveled no faster than a horse. Specifically, no faster than a pony of the Central Overland California and Pikes Peak Express Company, otherwise known as the Pony Express, which bragged that it could get mail from MissouriRead More

The Unionists of Chincoteague; Fremont in Hot Water; Lincoln Nearly Arms the Slaves

Monday, October 14, 1861 Chincoteague Island, Virginia is mostly remembered for the legend of a Spanish galleon transporting horses that wrecked off the coast in the 1750s. The horses supposedly swam to the island, became wild and are there to this day. That, however, is probably just a myth. Though there are no wild horsesRead More

The Confusion of Fremont’s Army

Thursday, September 26, 1861 General John C. Fremont’s plan to organize and move the Army of the West from various points in Missouri to Lexington was creating a plethora of logistical problems. General Pope, commanding the right wing of the army, wasn’t even in the state. He had been ordered by Fremont to Iowa toRead More

Another Newspaper Suppressed; Missouri in Doubt; Kentucky in Turmoil

Saturday, August 24, 1861 The suppression of Democratic newspapers was not about to take a weekend off. For weeks now, a small Connecticut paper called the Bridgeport Advertiser & Farmer had received warnings from the local Republicans and the Federal government. The Farmer was indeed anti-Lincoln, calling him a “despot” and accusing him of assumingRead More

Democratic Newspapers Seized by Federal Agents

Thursday, August 22, 1861 New York newspapers named by the Grand Jury convened on August 16, were banned from the United States Postal Service. The order came directly from Montgomery Blair, Lincoln’s Postmaster General, who wrote “none of the newspapers published in New York city which were lately presented by the grand jury as dangerous,Read More

The Cherokee Nation Wishes for a Confederate Alliance

Wednesday, August 21, 1861 The land that is, in modern times, known as “Oklahoma” was, at the time of the Civil War, known only as “Indian Territory.” It was to Indian Territory that the Trail of Tears led in the 1830s. The Five Civilized Tribes (Choctaw, Seminole, Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Creek) were forcibly relocated fromRead More

The State of Kanawha is Formed; Fighting and Proclamations in WV and MO

Tuesday, August 20, 1861 For the past two weeks, prominent western Virginians had been meeting in Wheeling to discuss forming their own state. The Second Session of the Second Wheeling Convention had been under way since August 6 and had finally proposed a dismemberment ordinance a week later. Since then, the delegates had debated everythingRead More

And So Continues the Guerrilla War in Missouri

Sunday, August 18, 1861 Confederate General Leonidas “The Fighting Bishop” Polk, commander of troops between the Mississippi and Tennessee Rivers, wished to secure Island No. 10, off the shores of New Madrid, Missouri. He had ordered General Pillow at New Madrid to see to it, even selecting the Colonel for the job. At first, PillowRead More