The Final Surrender

May 26, 1865 (Saturday) While the surrender of Lee’s army had gone off with little trouble, and Johnston’s eventually worked out, that of Kirby Smith’s sprawling yet dwindling army west of the Mississippi was a different story. It had been coming, of course. Ever since they learned of Lee’s capitulation it was certain. There wereRead More

Lincoln Addresses Congress – Offers Amnesty to the Rebels

December 8, 1863 (Tuesday) As Confederate President Jefferson Davis addressed his Congress the previous day, United States President Abraham Lincoln prepared an address on this date to be read to the House and Senate. Like Davis’ address, Lincoln’s was long and encompassing. That is, however, where the similarities ceased. While Davis solemnly spoke of “graveRead More

The Great Chief of the White People Meets with the Great Chief of the Indians

March 27, 1863 (Friday) Through the latter part of March, 1863, a band of fourteen Native Chiefs and two squaws from the West made a journey from their homes to Washington, DC to talk peace. They had been invited by President Abraham Lincoln. They represented six tribes from the Southern Plains – the Cheyennes, Kiowas,Read More

Cherokee Nations Rejoins the Union, Renounces Slavery (Sort Of)

February 26, 1863 (Thursday) The decision made by the Cherokee Nation to join with the Confederacy was not come to lightly. Many who were slave-holding Natives, wanted to side with the South. Others, who did not own slaves, wished to remain neutral or even go with the North. In August of 1861, after the ConfederateRead More

Jefferson Davis Calls for the Death of Any Union Officer Raising Black Troops

August 21, 1862 (Thursday) When Union General David Hunter began to arm the liberated slaves along the South Carolina coast, it raised quite a stir in Washington. Throughout the spring and early summer, Lincoln’s Cabinet had debated it, finally deciding that it was too risky a political move. In Richmond, capital of the Confederate States,Read More

Pope Makes Good His Escape, but For How Long?

August 20, 1862 (Tuesday) General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was on the move, stepping off closer to late evening’s dusk than this day’s dawn. Union General John Pope’s Army had retired northward, away from the Confederates, just as Lee was about to launch an attack that stood to crush the Federals. Lee’sRead More

The Dakotas Besiege New Ulm; Lee Realizes His Misfortune

August 19, 1862 (Tuesday) The carnage, murder and chaos of the previous day was indescribable. Hundreds of white settlers had been ruthlessly slaughtered along the shores of the Minnesota River by bands of the Dakota tribe. Such a bloodletting had never been seen before. So shocking was the butchery that even Chief Little Crow, leaderRead More

The Dakota Rampage Along the Minnesota; Pope Gets Away

August 18, 1862 (Monday) Chief Little Crow, leader of the Dakota Sioux in Minnesota knew that the whites would avenge the four murders committed by members of his tribe the previous day. At a late-night council, he and others decided that since a reckoning was coming, they would make a preemptive strike, even though heRead More

The Sioux Uprisings Begin; Stuart Prepares to Raid

Map of the Sioux Uprisings

August 17, 1862 (Sunday) Across the previous two decades, the United States government had swindled the Dakota Indians, members of the Sioux nation, in Minnesota out of treaty and land. By the start of the Civil War, they had a piddling strip of mediocre farm land on the south side of the Minnesota River. TheRead More

The Confederate High Water Mark in the Southwest

March 25, 1862 (Tuesday) The Confederate “High Water Mark” is often seen as the invasion of the north during the 1863 Gettysburg Campaign. In the West (that is, the far west), however, the “High Water Mark” was the last week in March 1862. Sixty Rebels under Captain Sherod Hunter had captured Tucson, Arizona, already pro-secessionist,Read More