The Sinking of the CSS Alabama

June 19, 1864 (Sunday) “An enemy is outside. If she only stays long enough, we go out and- fight her. If I live, expect to see me in London shortly. If I die, give my best love to all who know me.” – D. H. Llewellyn, Surgeon, CSS Alabama. Raphael Semmes had been with theRead More

Use the Spade for Protection – The Siege of Petersburg Begins

June 18, 1864 (Saturday) Through the grays of predawn there was silence and waiting, broken only by the curses of General Charles Griffin and the chiding of his commander, Gouverneur K. Warren. “Let us all try to keep our tempers more,” said Warren, “and not swear so much. I know I give way myself; butRead More

‘To Do All We Can’ – Meade Attacks Petersburg, Lee Denies It’s Meade

June 17, 1864 (Friday) Through the night the reports filtered into General Meade’s headquarters – Lee’s army was on the move, south toward Petersburg. Soon, rather than 14,000 Rebels dug in behind the entrenchments, there would be upwards of 40,000. And soon, it would be General Lee at their helm, rather than P.G.T. Beauregard. IfRead More

‘It Is All in the Cruise’ – The Coming Siege of Petersburg

June 16, 1864 (Thursday) P.G.T. Beauregard had no choice but to gamble. Reinforcements from General Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia were only a dream, and he had ten miles of earthworks to defend against the coming Federals. With his 14,000, there was no way he could hold them. And so he shifted everything to Petersburg.Read More

‘Petersburg Could Have Been Easily Captured’

June 15, 1864 (Wednesday) While most of Grant’s Army had crossed the James River the day previous, the Eighteenth Corps, commanded by “Baldy” Smith, had taken transports down the Pamunkey River and then up the James. They had arrived at Bermuda Hundred in the waining hours of the 14th. Bermuda Hundred was a peninsula betweenRead More

‘This Has Been a Dear Visit’ – The Death of General Polk

June 14, 1864 (Tuesday) When last we left Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Joe Johnston in Georgia, the latter had taken up positions in the mountains north of Marietta, while the former shadowed, unable to mount the attack he wanted. At the first, Johnston’s lines were long but thin, and he found them too muchRead More

A Rather Slow, Stupid Affair – Lee Loses Grant

June 13, 1864 (Monday) The Confederates in the ranks understood it plainly. The day previous, their commanders – all of them – were summonsed to General Lee’s headquarters. This could only mean a move, a strike. And at 3am, through the dark folds of the predawn, left the tramping of 8,000 men. “Our whole Corps,”Read More

Lee Sends Early to the Valley; Grant Slides Left Yet Again

June 12, 1864 (Sunday) While a defeated Philip Sheridan wandered his way back to the Army of the Potomac, General Grant made the final preparations for yet another slip around Robert E. Lee’s right flank. But due to Sheridan and word from the Shenandoah Valley, Lee was conflicted. General David Hunter’s Army of the ShenandoahRead More

The Influences of a Pardonable Zeal – Clash at Trevilian Station

June 11, 1864 (Saturday) Two divisions of Federal cavalry rode west from Cold Harbor, holding close to the north bank of the North Anna. They were helmed by General Philip Sheridan, who planned to march them upstream to cross at a ford near Trevilian Station on the Virginia Central Railroad. Once upon the line, theyRead More

Another Victory for Forrest

June 10, 1864 (Friday) Ten days had now passed since General Samuel Sturgis set out from Memphis with a mixed array of 8,000 cavalry and infantry. His object – his only stated goal – was to kill or cripple the Confederate forces under Nathan Bedford Forrest. To William Tecumseh Sherman, Forrest had been a regularRead More