Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Monday, June 15, 1863 : The Confederates captured Winchester, Virginia. They took 4,500 men prisoner along with 200,000 rounds of ammunition, 300 wagons and 300 horses. Federal troops in Northwestern Mississippi are again on the move, as Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut, (U.S.) 16th US Army Corps, orders 1,900 Union cavalry at La Grange, Tennessee to attack the railroad line at Panola, Mississippi and to sweep the country of forage, wheat, animals, etc. In the north, Major General JEB Stuart's (CSA) raid on Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, as Lieut. General James Longstreet, (CSA), begins to move his corps from Culpeper, Virginia, northwest through Ashby's and Snicker's Gaps, Virginia. Not knowing where Lee’s army were heading, Lincoln put out an emergency call for 100,000 troops from the state militias of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio, and West Virginia. Tuesday, June 16, 1863 : Commanding general of the Army of the Potomac, Joseph Hooker (U.S.) seemed to have trouble figuring out where Robert E. Lee’s army was. It was no mystery to the citizens, of the capital of Pennsylvania. Lee (CSA) was clearly headed north, and Harrisburg decided to clear out. Every train was packed, citizens loaded possessions into wagons and followed. Even the state government began packing state papers, books, paintings and other valuables to be evacuated. Meanwhile, the Confederates cross the Potomac River, Virginia, as Major Generals. Joseph Hooker and Henry W. Halleck, (U.S.), argue over Hooker's next move. Wednesday, June 17, 1863 : The ironclad C.S.S. Atlanta had been specially rigged with a bomb on a ram (a torpedo) and maneuvered for days into position to attack Federal blockade ships at Wassaw Sound, Georgia. With two wooden gunboats for support, she charged at the ironclad U.S.S. Weehawken. All this planning, went for naught, when she ran aground, was refloated, but with a damaged rudder that prevented steering. U.S.S. Weehawken’s Captain John Rodgers (U.S.) promptly hit C.S.S. Atlanta with five shots and captured her and she was compelled to surrender. Travelers Insurance Co of Hartford, Connecticut is chartered and the first company to offer travel insurance for train travel. Thursday, June 18, 1863 : Earlier, President Lincoln had promised both General U.S. Grant and Major General John McClernand. (US) (pictured) control of the Vicksburg campaign. Today, McClernand is relieved of command by Ulysses S. Grant for
insubordination. McClernand had sent a message to “HIS” troops that made it sound like they were the only soldiers in the attack, and all the other Union men, were cowards and incompetents. He was relieved of command and sent back to politic at home. Friday, June 19, 1863 : Major General Edward O. Ord, (U.S.), supersedes Major General John A. McClernand, (U.S.) in the command of the 13th US Army Corps. Saturday, June 20, 1863 : West Virginia admitted as 35th U.S. state, but the first to enter, where the terms slave and free no longer mattered. The citizens of
Baltimore, Maryland started to build defences around their city, fearing an attack by Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia (CSA). Cavalry units from both Lee’s and Hooker’s armies, clashed almost on a daily basis. More fighting continue across the county, from La Fourche Crossing, Louisiana, Middletown, Maryland, Senatobia & Coldwater, Mississippi and in Government Springs, the Utah Territory, with the Ute Indians who are threatening soldiers and the overland mail. Sunday, June 21, 1863 : The besieged city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was about to crack. With food in short supply, and the constant bombardment of the cannons and mortars, peoples’ minds were beginning to be affected. “One day is like another in a besieged city,” wrote one Confederate major today, “All you can hear are the crack of the Enemy’s guns, with the sharp crack of the rifles of their sharp-shooters going from early dawn to dark, and then at night the roaring of the terrible mortars is kept up sometimes all this time.” In Virginia, General J.E.B. Stuart (CSA) was acting as a screen between Lee’s army moving north and General Hooker’s Union forces. Today, some of them came together at Upperville, Virginia, and another cavalry battle commenced. Stuart withdrew his cavalry corps to take a strong defensive position in Ashby Gap, an important mountain pass. As cavalry skirmishing diminished the Army of Northern Virginia (CSA) safely crossed the Potomac into Maryland.
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