Chronological History of the American Civil War

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In Charleston, South Carolina harbor, the “Swamp Angel” was ready for use. The North demanded that the South had to evacuate Battery Wagner, or that they would fire on Charleston. In Tennessee, Col. John T. Wilder (U.S.) reached the Tennessee River opposite Chattanooga and ordered the 18th Indiana Light Artillery to begin shelling the town. The shells caught many soldiers and civilians in town in church observing a day of prayer and fasting. The bombardment sank 2 steamers docked at the landing and created a great deal of fear amongst the Confederates. General Braxton Bragg, (CSA) was sending increasingly hysterical telegrams to President Davis demanding reinforcements. By his calculations, his 40,000 troops were facing 60,000 with General Rosecrans (U.S.) and another 30,000 to arrive shortly under General Burnside (U.S.). Saturday, August 22, 1863 : As the South had not agreed to the North’s demands, the first shot by the “Swamp Angel” was fired at Charleston at 01:30 a.m. The gunners could not actually see their target, but artillery officers had spent the previous day working out the necessary predicted range (5 ½ miles) and angle of fire. In total, twelve shots were fired in quick succession, including four incendiary rounds. As if, Jefferson Davis did not have enough problems to contend with; trying to find reinforcements for General Bragg in Tennessee, and supplies for General Lee in Virginia, the postal clerks of the city of Richmond had all quit. The entire workforce walked out in a wage dispute with the government. Letters and reports from the field were all sitting in bags, undelivered. Sunday, August 23, 1863 : To Northerners, Charleston was the symbol of rebellion. It was there that South Carolina officials voted for secession and started the inevitable march toward war. The firing on

Fort Sumter, which started the conflict, only increased the North's belief that Charleston was a city of fire-eaters who deserved punishment. For most Northerners, Charleston's destruction seemed just retribution. The Confederates had ignored General Gillmore's (U.S.) note, not believing it was official, no forewarning was given to the citizens of the town of a bombardment. Many civilians had already left the city before the campaign had begun. Those that remained merely moved from the city's lower regions to areas out of range of the Federal guns. The city's manufacturing and industrial work continued, and all maritime activity was shifted up river. The Swamp Angel's 36th shot would be the final shot fired at Charleston, as the breech of the gun exploded and the gun was ruined. But, the Swamp Angel accomplished a number of things. It was the first known firing of an artillery piece using a compass reading, and the distance covered by the Swamp Angel's shells was farther than any previous military bombardment. General Gillmore (pictured), also gained the dubious distinction of

being one of the first generals to bombard a civilian center in the hope of achieving a military end. Monday, August 24, 1863 : Fort Sumter, built to guard Charleston, surrendered after a 7-day artillery bombardment. Hit by over 2,500 rounds, the fort was reduced to ruin. However, when the troops in the fort were seen trying to remove the remaining artillery guns, which were going to be shipped to Charleston to bolster the city’s defenses, another 627 rounds were fired at it. Col. John S. Mosby (CSA) and a group of his Confederate raiders, were prowling the area at Billy Goodling's Tavern, 10 miles out of Alexandria, Virginia. They soon discovered the Union detachment escorting 100 horses. Mosby and his raiders attacked the Union soldiers, but Mosby was hit by Union fire twice, once in the thigh and once in the groin. Mosby was able to get back on his horse and ordered his men to leave the area before a Union pursuit could be organized. The Confederates split up into small parties, and still managed to capture most of the horses. Mosby's wounds would keep him out of action for nearly a month. Tuesday, August 25, 1863 : In response to Quantrill's raid on Lawrence, Kansas, Brigadier General, Thomas Ewing (U.S.) issued one of the most amazing orders of the War today, but since he did it in Kansas City, it received little attention. He orders civilians out of their homes in 3 Missouri counties (Jackson, Cass and Bates) and parts of a fourth (Vernon). Union soldiers burn all the houses, barns and other outbuildings to eliminate shelter. Some 20,000 people were affected by the order and lost their

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