Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Tuesday, February 24, 1863 : Confederates using the captured and now renamed Union ram ship C.S.S. Queen of the West , and the C.S.S. William H. Webb , they attempt to overtake the river ironclad gunboat U.S.S. Indianola with their faster speed. At the time, the action was taking place near Mr. Joe Davis' Plantation, below Vicksburg, on the Mississippi River. The naval battle included cannon fire and also some close quarters fighting. Finally, both rammed the U.S.S. Indianola . It became powerless and ran aground. Being partially sunk, the U.S.S. Indianola had no choice but to surrender. The loss of the Indianola proved to be a serious blow to the Union naval operations on the Mississippi River below Vicksburg. In Washington, Arizona, formerly part of the Territory of New Mexico, was organized as a separate territory. Wednesday, February 25, 1863 : At times it seems not much has changed in the way the U.S. has runs things in the last 150 plus years; today, U.S. Congress passes the Legal Tender Act, authorizing the use of paper notes (greenbacks) to pay the government's bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly Civil War long after its gold and silver reserves were depleted. By war's end nearly a half-billion dollars in greenbacks will have been issued. The U.S.S. Vanderbilt captures the British blockade runner, Peterhoff , off St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, which almost causes another international incident, eventually the Peterhoff is released. Thursday, February 26, 1863 : Lincoln signs National Currency Act, prior to this act, states could issue paper money, as could banks, both public and private. With an incredibly huge variety of banknotes, counterfeiters had a field day. The majority of banknotes used in transactions in the first half of the 19th century were likely to be counterfeit. At the very least, the standardization of paper money made it much more easy to spot counterfeit money. The Cherokee Nation, victim of the infamous Trail of Tears, had no reason to love the government in Washington. Indeed, there had been much debate within this tribe as well as many others as to what the proper response was to the War Between the States. The debate had occasionally led to bloodshed, and individuals had gone to fight on one side or the other. Today, the Cherokee National Council repealed its Ordinance of Secession, renounced and abolished slavery, and declared for the Union. Near Woodburn, Tennessee, Confederate guerrillas halted a well-equipped 240-mule Union freight train. After stopping the train, the Confederates captured and burned the entire train. Friday, February 27, 1863 : In Tennessee, in the neighborhood of Bloomington, on the Hatchie, River just south of Covington, Col. R. V. Richardson (CSA) left 8 men to guard their camp and collect conscripts. This guard was taken by Union troops with all the property in their charge, 27 horses and mules, wagons and commissary stores, and the camp, with several large buildings and quarters, entirely destroyed. Saturday, February 28, 1863 : In 1861, during the bombardment of Fort Sumter, the U.S.Mail Steamer Nashville blundered into Charleston without flying the U.S. national standard and was fired upon by the
U.S.R.C. Harriet Lane, which marked the first shot of the naval war in the Civil War. The ship was captured and renamed C.S.S. Nashville. (pictured) It was the first Confederate ship to fly the Confederate Navy flag. Later the ship was sold to privateers and renamed again to “Rattlesnake”. Today it is sunk by the U.S.S. Montauk , on the Ogeechee River, near Fort McAllister, south of Savannah, Geogia; the U.S.S. Seneca, Wissahickon, and Dawn assisting. The fort has been under siege for a month.
Just during the month of February, 5,568 died, wounded or become missing, leading up to a total so far for the Civil War to 279,639. This total now exceeds the U.S. soldiers and sailors that died during World War I, Vietnam, Korean War, the U.S. Revolutionary War, and the Iraq-Afghanistan War. Over the next 2 years this number will exceed more than “all” of the other United States wars put together.
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