Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Saturday, April 11, 1863 : Union commanders in the Suffolk and James River areas of Virginia, were today sending requests for Naval gunboats to be sent as protection against fears of Southern attacks. They
didn’t know how much trouble they were in; Confederate General James Longstreet (pictured) was coming. With his entire corps he surrounded the Suffolk, Virginia area and launched a siege which will last a month. Union Col. Abel Streight (U.S.) leaves Nashville, Tennessee on a raid to Rome, Georgia. Sunday, April 12, 1863 : President Lincoln receives a letter from Major General Joseph Hooker (U.S.), the most recent commander of the Army of the Potomac, who suggests a movement around General Robert E. Lee's (CSA) flank to Richmond, Virginia, which is contrary to their discussions just held where Lincoln reminded Hooker that Lee's Army must be Hooker's main goal, and not just concentrate on capturing Richmond. Monday, April 13, 1863 : General Ambrose Burnside had been commander of the Army of the Potomac, but after getting huge numbers of his men killed
in futile charges at Fredericksburg, he was reassigned “promotion” to command the Department of the Ohio, a non-combat job. Today, he announced the death penalty for anyone aiding the Confederacy, and the deportation of anyone sympathizing with same. Tuesday, April 14, 1863 : The former Union gunboat, now a Confederate ram, C.S.S. Queen of the Wes t, is attacked on the Atchafalaya River, Louisiana by Union ships U.S.S. Estrella , U.S.S. Calhoun , and U.S.S. Arizona . A shell from the U.S.S. Calhoun set fire to C.S.S. Queen of the West , and her burning wreck drifted down the river for several hours before she grounded and exploded . In Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, William Bullock invents a printing press that allowed for continuous large rolls of paper to be automatically fed through the rollers, eliminating the laborious hand-feeding system of earlier presses. In a bizarre accident, he would be killed in a few years later by his own invention; as his leg would be crushed and he will die during surgery to amputate it. Wednesday, April 15, 1863 : For the last two weeks or so there had been a battle in progress in Washington, North Carolina, which was occupied by Federal forces and being attacked by Confederates. The southern fighters began breaking off the attack and prepare to depart the scene. The Houston Tri - Weekly Telegraph reports: “A large auction sale of negroes took place at Col. Sydnor's auction store yesterday, consisting of sixty, mostly field negroes, men, women and children. They were sold in lots or families, and brought $105,000, or about $1,750 each. From a casual glance at the catalogue, we should judge this would give an average of about $2,250 for good field hands, which may be regarded as about their price. The negroes were a good lot, though there were many children among them.” The Montgomery Weekly Advertiser writes: “The Vicksburg Whig says that a female spy was caught a few days ago at Enterprise, on the Mobile & Ohio Railroad. We learn that passes are now demanded of all travelling females.” Thursday, April, 16, 1863 : Union Admiral David Dixon Porter leads 12 ships padded with cotton and hay bales, past the heavy barrage of Confederate artillery at Vicksburg, Mississippi. He lost only one ship, and this operation will help speed General Ulysses S. Grant's (U.S.) movement against Vicksburg, Mississippi.
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