Chronological History of the American Civil War

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to our cause, which will shed imperishable glory alike on the chivalry of Tennessee and on the Southern arms.” Tuesday, July 30, 1861 : Union General Benjamin Butler at Fort Monroe, Virginia asks Secretary of War Simon Cameron to make a determined policy concerning former slaves entering his lines seeking freedom. Butler has 900 in his care and is unclear as to their status as property. While waiting for a reply, Butler’s solution was to declare them “contraband of war” and uses the former slaves to build fortifications around the area. Wednesday, July 31, 1861 : Hamilton Gamble is formally elected governor of pro-Union Missouri.

Thursday, August 1, 1861 : Tennessee votes to adopt the Constitution of the Confederate States of America. A few weeks ago a large party of cowboys, ranch hands and roustabouts had gathered in West Texas to go on a “buffalo hunt”, or so they said. Joined by John Baylor, (pictured) later Lt. Col. Baylor, they started a campaign to chase every Federal out of the area. Today, they announced that all of New Mexico and Arizona south of the 34th Parallel was now Confederate territory. More pro-Union citizens regarded it as an invasion from Texas, and now began to get hostile about it. Friday, August 2, 1861 : Union Major General Benjamin Butler, although not much for battlefield command, usually had considerable talent for efficient administration. This was not much in evidence today as he addressed the

problem of drunkenness among the troops at Ft. Monroe, at Hampton Roads, Virginia. He went about this in a straightforward manner, simply outlawing the sale of intoxicating beverages to the soldiers. This worked about as well as prohibition ever does: booze was found at one time or another stored in gun barrels, cannon tubes, and canteens. Similar prohibitions were tried in other areas by other generals, with pretty much the same results. Saturday, August 3, 1861 : At Hampton Roads, Virginia, John LaMountain makes the first balloon ascent in history from the deck of a Union ship, Fanny , specially fitted for the experiment. The purpose of the ascent is to observe the Confederate battery on Sewell's Point, near Hampton Roads. Congress approves funds for the Department of the Navy to build 3 prototype ironclad ships. Sunday, August 4, 1861 : According to the Chicago Tribune, Confederate General Pillow, with 20,000 Tennessee troops, has moved into southeastern Missouri. Monday, August 5, 1861 : Abraham Lincoln approves a wide variety of bills passed during a special session of Congress including a new issue of bonds, tariff increase and the first real estate tax and income tax. As the mechanisms to collect the tax did not yet exist, an amazingly few people sent the money in voluntarily; the tax was basically ignored. Enlistment increases from 3 months to 2 years. The U.S. Army abolishes flogging. Tuesday, August 6, 1861 : Lincoln signs the First Confiscation Act, authorizing Union seizure of rebel property and ordering Union officers not to return escaped or confiscated slaves who are working or fighting for the rebel forces. The Union establishes a military camp named “Dick Robinson” near Lexington in neutral Kentucky as a show of force. The camp would become a rallying point for the mountaineers of southeastern Kentucky and eastern Tennessee to join the Union forces. Wednesday, August 7, 1861 : The town of Hampton, VA, a small village near Fort Monroe, was burned to the ground today--by a Confederate general. John B. Magruder claimed that he had heard U.S. Gen. Benjamin Butler planned to use the nearly-deserted town as housing for black laborers. Magruder gave the citizens only 15 minutes to flee the town.

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