Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Tuesday, February 10, 1863 : P. T. Barnum’s 2 foot 11 inch Charles Sherwood Stratton known as “General Tom Thumb” marries another little person, Lavinia Warren, became front-page news. The wedding took place at Grace Episcopal Church and the wedding reception was held at the Metropolitan Hotel. While admission to the actual wedding was free, Barnum sold tickets to the reception for $75 each to the first five thousand to apply. The couple stood atop a grand piano in New York City's Metropolitan Hotel to greet some 2,000 guests. Tiffany and Company gave a silver coach to the couple. Following the wedding, the couple was received by President Lincoln at the White House. Stratton and his wife toured together in Europe as well as Japan . Also today, the 1st U.S. fire extinguisher patent was granted to Alanson Crane, of Virginia. Wednesday, February 11, 1863 : Desertion both North and South was a
serious problem. General Hooker (U.S.) turned his attention to the conditions his men lived under. New huts were built that could cope with the winter weather and fresh fruit and vegetables were provided to his men. Medical facilities were also improved. The impact on desertions was dramatic and even men who had deserted returned to their regiments. Thursday, February 12, 1863 : Southern blockade was working, today the Union clipper ship U.S.S. Jacob Bell operating in the Caribbean and Federal ships on the Mississippi River including U.S. ram ship (ship with strengthened bow made for ramming) U.S.S. Queen of the West take more than $2 million in cargo in a single day. But this blockade was extremely costly for the U.S. to operate. The sheer size of the fleet operating meant that the Federal government faced a supply problem no one had encountered before. It was estimated that the North had to supply 70,000 bushels of coal each month to keep the fleet on the move. Food and water could be obtained locally, but there was little chance of getting hold of large quantities of coal and oil. On the Mississippi, Admiral D.D. Porter (U.S.) was having severe difficulties keeping his ships’ boilers supplied with coal. He ordered an extra 16,000 bushels of coal delivered to him on the Yazoo River from Cairo, Ilinois, besides the normal monthly allotment, but had no assurance of getting either shipment, or any at all. Freezing on the rivers was nearly as big a problem as Confederate fire. In Bolivar, Tennessee, Union forces are defeated in a skirmish. Friday, February 13, 1863 : The union gunboat U.S.S. Indianola , commanded by George Brown, was in a rather tricky position. She was serving as a tugboat, and needed to get past Vicksburg to deliver supplies. Brown simply waited for nightfall, got up steam, and ran the river. Despite heavy Confederate fire, his ship and the three barges she had in tow passed the city untouched. The Natchez Daily Courier reports: “The Woman Soldier. The editor of the Winchester (Tennessee) Bulletin was lately in Atlanta, where, among other "novelties," he met with Mrs. ----- --------, dressed up a la militaire, who had a furlough to visit Atlanta. This woman soldier is a member of the Louisiana cavalry, and "in for the war." She is about twenty years of age rather small, and tolerably good looking.--Her husband was killed at Shiloh, and she forthwith took his place in the ranks. She has twice been wounded in battle and in one of the battles taken prisoner, and regularly exchanged. We mention these facts as a part of the history of this war, let what may be said of the propriety of such conduct in woman.” Saturday, February 14, 1863 : U.S.S. Queen of the West captured steamer C.S.S. Era No. 5 some 15 miles above the mouth of the Black River and continued on upstream seeking three vessels reported at Barbin’s Landing. Taken under heavy fire by the shore batteries of Fort DeRussy, Louisiana, she ran aground directly under Confederate guns, which pounded her until Colonel Charles Rivers Ellet (U.S.) ordered "abandon ship," and the formidable vessel fell into Confederate hands. The Queen was not burned out of concern for the Captain of the ship, who was wounded and could not be moved. In his official report, Ellet alleged the grounding was done purposely by the replacement pilot, whom he accused in his report of being a rebel sympathizer. During their escape downstream, the pilot also grounded the captured C.S.S. Era running the paddles long after contact, whereupon the pilot was placed under arrest.
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