Chronological History of the American Civil War

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officers were distrustful of breech-loading weapons on the grounds that they would encourage men to waste ammunition. Saturday, March 7, 1863 : Vicksburg was proving a much greater challenge to Union attackers than the forts upriver had been. Frontal assault was ruled out as suicidal, due to both odd twists in the geography of the Mississippi River and strong fortifications of the city on high bluffs. General Grant (U.S.) decided that the best approach was to dig a canal. The river twisted in such a fashion that it formed a letter “U”, with Vicksburg at the far point of the curve. Dig a ditch across the top of the U, the logic went, and the river itself would scour it out and possibly even change the channel permanently. The Southern defenders lobbed shells periodically, some of which helped the excavation, some of which, blowing dirt back into the hole, did not. Today, Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, (pictured) (U.S.), moves to Baton Rouge, Louisana, from New Orleans, to join forces with Major General Ulysses S. Grant, with the joint effort against Vicksburg, Mississippi. In this week alone the war will claim another 3,026 lives; 1600 in battle and the rest will die from sickness or other accidents. Sunday, March 8, 1863 : Captain John Mosby (CSA) was already making a name for himself and his men, “The Gray Ghost and Mosby’s Raiders” for carrying out daring raids far inside Union lines. Brig. General Edwin H. Stoughton (U.S.) was ordered to find Mosby and stop his raids. It had been a long hard chase, however, tonight Stoughton and his men slept gratefully in comfortable beds in Fairfax Court House, Virginia. They slept so well, and with so few guards, that Mosby and his men were able to creep quietly into town and right into the headquarters garrison. Mosby later would write in his memoirs, that he found Stoughton in bed and roused him with a "spank on his bare back." Upon being so rudely awakened the general indignantly asked what this meant. Mosby quickly asked. if he had ever heard of "Mosby". The general replied, "Yes, have you caught him?" "I am Mosby," the Confederate ranger said. "Stuart's cavalry has possession of the Courthouse; be quick and dress." Mosby and his 29 men had captured a Union general, two captains, 30 enlisted men, and 58 horses without firing a shot. Monday, March 9, 1863 : Maybe it was all in fun or just testing the waters at Vicksburg, but General Grant (U.S.) has “Quaker” gunboat made of logs, with stacked barrels for smokestacks. Other barrels which had formerly contained rations, primarily pork, had black circles painted on their lids to make them resemble mortars. The boat was made to resemble an Union ironclad, it was sent floating past the defenses at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Of course this brought on a lot of cannon fire from the Southern defenders, but silly as the project might sound, the time would come, when real gunboats would need to run the Vicksburg gauntlet, and trickery could come in handy. Tuesday, March 10, 1863 : Such was the problem of desertion across all armies of the Union, that

President Lincoln pronounced an amnesty on this day for all those who were absent without leave. Any deserter who returned to duty before April 1st would not be punished. After April 1st a deserter could be shot for this crime. Wednesday, March 11, 1863 : Under Major General William W. Loring (CSA) (pictured) the Confederates using dirt earthworks and cotton bales quickly construct Fort Pemberton, near Greenwood, Mississippi. The fort successfully defends off attacks from the U.S.S. Chillicoth e. Actions slows Grants advance around Vicksburgs using the Yalobusha River. Thursday, March 12, 1863 : The Union’s newest state of West Virginia is finding many locals sympathetic to the southern cause, and suspected of being bushwackers. More skirmishes near Moscow, and expeditions sent out near Perryville in Tennessee. Friday, March 13, 1863 : At the Confederate ordnance factory on Brown’s

Island in the James River at Richmond, Virginia, it is thought that the mostly-female workers, ages nine to twenty, turned out an average of 1,200 cartridges a day and they also manufactured fuses, caps, fixed

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