Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Thursday, August 8, 1861 : For weeks now, Gen. Benjamin Butler had been sending increasingly urgent telegrams from his post at Fort Monroe, VA to Washington, asking what he was supposed to do with the Negroes who were flocking into his camp. Some were freed when Union troops took control of the area where they had lived; some had run away from further South. Under the letter of the Fugitive Slave Law Butler was supposed to send them back to slavery. Today Secretary of War Simon Cameron wrote that slaves from areas in insurrection were to be considered free and Butler could do whatever he liked with them.
Friday, August 9, 1861 : Union General Nathaniel Lyon (pictured) sets off with only 5,400 men to meet Confederate troops approaching Springfield, Missouri with a combined force of nearly 11,000 men. Saturday, August 10, 1861 : General Nathaniel Lyon is killed at Wilson's Creek, Missouri, where he has led 5,400 Union soldiers to meet 11,000 Confederate soldiers and Missouri militia. The Union soldiers put up a valiant fight, but after Lyon's fall at Bloody Ridge, the Federals pull back. Now commanded by Major Samuel Sturgis, the Union soldiers march to Rolla, Missouri, southwest of St. Louis. The casualties were about equal on both sides—1,317 Union and 1,230 Confederate/Missourian/Arkansan.
Though the Confederate allied force won the field, they were unable to pursue the retreating Union forces to Rolla. The Union withdrawal to Rolla concedes a large part of Missouri to secessionist forces. In spite of his defeat, Lyon’s quick and decisive action is credited with neutralizing the effect of secessionist forces in the state. Missouri remains under Union control. The Battle of Wilson's Creek is the second major battle between Union and Confederate forces and the second significant victory for the Confederates following that of Bull Run in Virginia. In Washington, Lincoln meets with General Winfield Scott to smooth out friction between Scott and McClellan. Sunday, August 11, 1861 : The Memphis Daily Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee), “Factory Burnt.—The Normant cotton factory, belonging to P. Miller, located near Bolivar, Tenn., was consumed by fire on Thursday night last. This is a great misfortune now when the South is compelled to manufacture for herself, and owners of such property should guard it with redoubled vigilance. Loss, $25,000, without insurance.” Monday, August 12, 1861 : The Nashville “Union and American” reports the arrest of the Hon. Thomas A.R. Nelson has been arrested in Lee County, Virginia, and is expected to be tried for treason. Nelson was a staunch pro-Union southerner. He was elected to a second term in 1861 on the eve of the Civil War, but was arrested by Confederate authorities before he could take his seat. Apache Indians attack Confederates in Texas and kill 15. Three new wooden gunboats, Tyler , Conestoga , and Lexington , arrive at Cairo, Illinois to cover operations until the ironclads are built. Tuesday, August 13, 1861 : Confederate Secretary of the Navy Mallory reports, that there are no iron ships in England that can carry the weight of big guns, and that he has arranged to contract with two distinguished builders for a gun vessel each. Wednesday, August 14, 1861 : The President and Colonization: The Experiment to be tried in Central America. This afternoon, the President of the United States gave audience to a Committee of colored men at the White House. Having all been seated, the President, after a few preliminary observations, informed them that a sum of money had been appropriated by Congress, and placed at his disposition, for the purpose of aiding the colonization in some country of the people, or a portion of them, of African descent, thereby making it his duty, as it had for a long time been his inclination, to favor that cause. Whether it is right or wrong, I need not discuss; but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them, by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. Lincoln proposed a relocation of freed blacks to Central America. A new colony would be established there such has been in Liberia in West Africa for freed former African-American slaves. The Chairman of the delegation briefly replied that "they would hold a
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