Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Corydon, Indiana, elements of General John Hunt Morgan’s (CSA) force encountered about 400 Home Guards and captured most of them. As Morgan’s force continued eastward to Ohio, destroying bridges, railroads, and government stores, Federal columns converged to prevent Morgan from recrossing into Kentucky. Thursday, July 9, 1863 : Union control of Port Hudson, means the Mississippi River is now in their control as well. However, Guerillas, irregulars, and even occasional Confederate regulars on both sides of the river would persist in their efforts for the remainder of the war. Sniping, sabotage and occasional mortar fire was never completely subdued. Friday, July 10, 1863 : The First Battle of Fort Wagner was fought on Morris Island in Charleston, South Carolina harbor. An attempt by the Union Army to capture Fort Wagner is repulsed by 1,600 Confederates inside. In Bolivar, Tennessee, John Houston Bills, settler, plantation planter, and diarist writes: “Cloudy morning. Confeds in town. Dr. (Col) Neely amongst them. At 10 a.m. the Federals from Saulsbury 150 under Maj. Funk enter town & drive out the Confeds. One Federal wounded, after which they proceed to steal everything they could lay their hands upon. My saddle horses & both my carriage horses amongst the number, also my Negro boy, Aaron, 14 years old from Cornucopia. They damage me $1,500. This day the Horizon is obscured by smoke, the sun presenting a red appearance. Weather warm and sultry.” In Union City, Tennessee, Union outpost, including 100 men, are captured by Confederate cavalry, under Col. J. B. Biffle, (CSA). Saturday, July 11, 1863 : Mr. John Houston Bills continues to write in his diary: “Confeds in town, we regret this coming as it will in the End bring trouble upon us.” In Pennsylvania, General Meade (U.S.) decided that his men were sufficiently rested after Gettysburg, and decided that his Army of the Potomac had to become more proactive. The last thing that Meade wanted was for Lee’s men to cross the Potomac River. Sunday, July 12, 1863 : Unusual amounts of rains, slowed the retreat of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia from Gettysburg back to Virginia. It has been 8 days, since the battle and Lee was hoping the Potomac River water levels would go back down, so they could cross to safety of the South. In Washington at the telegraph office, Lincoln receives word of General Meade's (U.S.) plan to attack tomorrow. Pacing the floor, Lincoln wrings his hands and muttering, "Too late." Monday, July 13, 1863 : Lincoln was right, Lee made good his escape across the Potomac River before Meade could stop him. Lee fooled Meade’s Army of the Potomac (U.S.) by leaving campfires alight giving the appearance that the men of Lee’s army were still in camp. In New York City, race riots broke out, as there had been grumbling about the draft, since the law was passed. The rules allowing the wealthy to buy “substitutes” ($300 and you could stay home) and exemptions led to slogans like, “a rich man’s war is a poor man’s fight.” Lots were drawn Saturday, and published in the newspapers on Sunday. Today, a mob of mostly of Irish immigrant workingmen formed. They, also believed that while, they were away fighting, the African-Americans would take their jobs. Talk turned to speeches, and then into an attack on the draft office. This spreads to the looting of businesses, and then wholesale chaos. Police and what few army men were on hand were overwhelmed, and soon gave up trying to control the mobs. Additional troops were ordered to rush to New York, to restore order. They would have to come from Gettysburg. Tuesday, July 14, 1863 : Riots continued in New York City and spreading to other Northern cities like Boston and Portsmouth, New Hampshire. African Americans were murdered in the streets, and city law enforcement agencies were unable to cope. Men from the Army of the Potomac, were ordered into the city to restore law and order. When President Lincoln was informed that Lee’s army had crossed the Potomac, he very publicly expressed his anger with Meade for allowing this. “We had them within our grasp. We had to only stretch forth our hands and they were ours.” In Tennessee, Union troops surrender Murfreesboro, to General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederate Cavalry troops.

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