Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Monday, January 12, 1863 : President Davis addresses the Third Session of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, he made the most of it. The military situation, he said was going well, pointing to the halting of Federal operations in Tennessee, around Vicksburg, and in Virginia . (He was correct, but the halts were mostly due to it being the dead of winter.) Davis also took a bit of poetic license, when noting a passage from the Emancipation Proclamation in the U.S., claiming that its passage encouraged slaves to rise up and murder their masters, and that this action would lead to the extermination of the Negro race. This, he stated, proved that Lincoln and his Republicans were not the friends of blacks that they claimed to be. Major-General Sherman, (U.S.) assumes command of the Fifteenth Army Corps. Tuesday, January 13, 1863 : General McClernand (U.S.) was ordered to

blow up Fort Hindman as it had no strategic value to the Unionists. In Tennessee at the Harpeth Shoals on the Cumberland River, the Union gunboat, U.S.S. Sidell , surrendered to Confederate troops, commanded by Brig. General Joseph Wheeler (pictured). There were also 3 Union transports with 800 wounded troops also seized. The wounded Union soldiers were put on board one ship and allowed to go on, while the other 3 ships were burned in place. Wednesday, January 14, 1863 : The joint U.S. Army-Navy (pictured) forces attacked Confederate positions at Bayou Teche, Louisiana, compelling a Southern withdrawal and the

subsequent destruction of gunboat C.S.S. Cotton . The U.S. gunboats U.S.S. Calhoun, Diana, Estrella , and the Kinsman, are also engaged. The Arkansas Democrat newspaper reported: "A late dispatch from Nashville, states that the Yankee soldiers have abandoned the custom of combing their heads— consequently vermin is on the increase in the Yankee camp. An insect of doubtful name, and of unusually large size, was

discovered in that city the other day with U. S. marked on its back and a canteen swung around its neck." Thursday, January 15, 1863 : A group of Union soldiers and sailors landed at Mound City, Arkansas. At this time, Mound City was a center of Confederate guerrilla activity. The Federals captured and burned the town. The Boston Morning Journal was the first U.S. newspaper printed on wood-pulp paper. Friday, January 16, 1863 : The Confederate commerce raider “ C.S.S. Florida ” evaded a Union blockade and slipped out of Mobile Bay. In the next 18 months the “ C.S.S. Florida ” will sink fifteen Union ships, mostly off the waters of the West Indies. The Union gunboat U.S.S. Baron de Kalb arrived at Duvall's Bluff on the White River in Arkansas. Once there, the ship's crew seized the Confederate guns and ammunition there. They then reboarded the ship and left. Saturday, January 17, 1863 : In Tennessee, General Bragg (CSA) has been replaced by General Longstreet, whose army is now at Shelbyville, Tennessee. General Nathan Bedford Forrest (CSA) is attacking steamboats on the Cumberland River, and 2,500 rebel troops are encamped near Savannah, Hardin County, Tennessee. More fighting is reported in Galveston, Texas, and on the Arkansas River Sunday, January 18, 1863 : President Lincoln had just signed a Congressional resolution to take care of one serious problem: payment of soldiers. Part of this dilemma was simply due to disorganization, as many regiments had been recruited as state forces and were supposed to be paid by their state governments. As units were coordinated under Federal control that responsibility shifted. The upshot of the problem was that many had not been paid in months, including funds they had ordered withheld, and sent to support their families back home. This caused disgruntlement and desertion was on the rise. Inflation was on the rise as well.

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