Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Sunday, March 1, 1863 : The new month brought no improvement to the situation in the Confederacy, most of which was still shivering under one of the worst winters in memory. The means to cope with the harshness was dwindling rapidly as well, as the system for the distribution of food was increasingly disrupted. The climate was not as bad in the Western Confederacy, and Vicksburg was still unconquered, but there was food shortage approaching in Richmond. The Southern railway system had long suffered from a bizarre system, in which track widths in each state were slightly different. This meant that a cargo of wheat from Texas, or beef from Florida, might have to be offloaded from one car to another every time a state border was crossed. It made moving large masses long distances extremely difficult. More skirmishes are reported today at Bradyville, Tennessee, with Brig General Nathan Bedford Forrest, (CSA). President Lincoln met with Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton to discuss future military appointments. Monday, March 2, 1863 : The railroad track width was even a problem in the North, too. Congress rejects a call by President Lincoln to adopt a standard railroad gauge of 5 feet and adopts the 4 foot, 8 and one-half inches gauge. It is sometimes called the Congressional gauge. A common gauge choice allowed easy transfer of cars between different railroad companies and facilitates trackage rights between companies. Union scouts leave from La Grange, Tennessee and go to Hudsonville and Salem, Mississippi, and Saulsbury, Tennessee. Tuesday, March 3, 1863 : Near Savannah, Georgia at Fort. McAllister (CSA) the ongoing naval assaults for over a month, resumes, lasting eight hours on this day. The damage to the fort's sand walls is quickly repaired. U.S. Congress was busy today, passing bills such as: authorizes a new U.S. mint at Carson City, Nevada; free city delivery will replace zone postage and hires 449 letter carriers; new gold certificates (currency) is authorized by Congress, and Idaho Territory is approved. The law that drew most debates was when, Congress enacts a draft. This affect male citizens aged 20 to 45, but also exempts those who pay $300 or provide a substitute. Poor Northerners complain, "The blood of a poor man is as precious as that of the wealthy." In working-class sections of New York City, riots will break out in protest. Wednesday, March 4, 1863 : Lincoln consults with Postmaster General Blair about problems for colonizing Negroes. Lincoln had plans to relocate them to either the West Indies, Central America or back to Africa itself. Santa Fe, New Mexico Territory, is abandoned by the Union forces, under Capt. Herbert M. Enos, (U.S.) and subsequently occupied by Brig. General Henry Hopkins Sibley, (CSA). Thursday, March 5, 1863 : A small Union force departed from Franklin, Tennessee, today, heading for Thompson’s Station, intending to make an excursion to explore the vicinity for hostiles. They met up with a large Confederate force comprised of infantry under Van Dorn and cavalry under Nathan Bedford Forrest. Although, they were nearly surrounded, the cavalry managed to fight their way through and escape. The Union infantry, however, lacked the advantage of four-footed transportation. They fought fiercely before most were compelled to surrender on the following day. Savannah, (Georgia) Republican newspaper prints: “The Man Who Won't Pay the Printer. —A country editor, who works for glory and prints on trust, is responsible for the following anathematical (hateful) aspirations on the man who won't pay the printer: "May he have sore eyes, and a chestnut burr for an eye stone. May every day of his life be more despotic than the Day of Algiers. May he never be permitted to kiss a handsome woman. May his boots leak, his gun hang fire, and his fishing lines break. May his coffee be sweetened with flies, and his soup seasoned with spiders. May his friend run with his wife and his children take the hooping cough. May his cattle die of murrain, and his pigs destroy his garden. May a regiment of cats’ caterwaul under his window every night. May his cows give sour milk and rancid butter. In short, may his daughter marry a one-eyed editor, and his business go to ruin, and he go to------ the Legislature.” Friday, March 6, 1863 : One of Hooker’s attempts to develop the Army of the Potomac was to ensure that it had the most modern weapons available. By this day, his men were starting to be equipped with the Sharps breech-loading carbine. This rifle gave Hooker’s army unrivalled firepower at close range. Many

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