Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Saturday, October 17, 1863 : In Tampa, Florida, Capt. John Wescott (CSA), 2nd Florida Battalion, sent out a force that intercepted the Federals as they were about to raid local saltworks. 50 Union men were killed and 5 captured. Lt. General James Longstreet, (CSA), is ordered to resume command of his army corps, after recovering from battle wounds received at the Battle of the Wilderness on May 7. Sunday, October 18, 1863 : General Robert E. Lee dispatched cavalry, under Brig. General John Imboden (CSA) to raid in the Shenandoah Valley, and to attack the vulnerable Union garrison at Charlestown, West Virginia, in an effort to draw Union forces away from his front. Imboden successfully attacked and defeated the Union garrison at Charlestown, exposing the weakness of Union military units in the Shenandoah Valley, involving only slight losses. While his raid was successful, it had little overall impact on the fall movements. Monday, October 19, 1863 : Settler, planter John Houston Bills of “The Pillars” in Bolivar, Tennessee writes in his diary: “The war slowly drags along - will finally wear us out and after destroying the substance of the south, finally ruin the morals of our people. Southern and Northern soldiers take our property EACH pretending to fear it may fall into the hand of the other & be turned against them. So, among the men with bayonets all will finally be lost & families be brought to want.” President Lincoln, leaves the decision to General Grant. General Rosecrans (U.S.) was relieved of his command, and handed it over to Major-General George Thomas (U.S.). Rosecrans’ defeat at Chickamauga, and his inability to breakout of Chattanooga and control the area was his demise. He will never be given another meaningful command. In an all-cavalry battle, J. E. B. Stuart (CSA) routed Judson Kilpatrick (U.S.) in the battle of Buckland Mills, Virginia. The Confederates derisively called the affair "The Buckland Races", although some Confederate commanders likened it to a fox hunt. Tuesday, October 20, 1863 : Since their victory at Gettysburg, the Army of the Potomac (U.S.) had followed Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. Neither was in a position to launch a major attack against the other, but numerous skirmishes had occurred up to this date when, Lee crossed the Rappahannock River to return to his old base. Meade had no intention of following him across the river. The skirmishes that had occurred, since Gettysburg had cost Meade 2,292 killed and wounded while Lee lost 1,381 men. General Burnside, (U.S.) not to be hurried, has yet, to contribute any assistance to Chattanooga and its situation. In Philadelphia, Tennessee, today, the Confederate Cavalry forces under Col. George G. Dibrell attack a wagon train, inflicting 479 casualties on the Federals in the process. Wednesday, October 21, 1863 : Ulysses S. Grant (U.S.) leaves Nashville, Tennessee to assume command of the troops in Chattanooga. He arrives in Stevensville, Alabama before dark. Here, Grant meets with General Rosecrans, now relieved of his command. Rosecrans tells Grant how to handle things in Chattanooga. Grant is impressed, but wonders why he did not pursue his own ideas. Thursday, October 22, 1863 : General Grant (U.S.) travels on to Bridgeport, Alabama enroute to Chattanooga. The only road in was a muddy wash with a horrible stench from the dead mules lying on either side. This was the road Rosecrans was using to supply his troops. Friday, October 23, 1863 : Ulysses S. Grant, now commanding U.S. forces in the Western Theater,

arrives in Chattanooga and immediately begins working on ensuring a better supply line to the starving city. General Leonidas Polk (CSA) (pictured) was a second cousin of President James K. Polk. He also served as bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, and was for that reason known as The Fighting Bishop ; is relieved of his command by Confederate President Jefferson Davis. General Bragg (CSA) wanted General Polk relieved of duty, since he failed at the Battle of Chickamauga to inform his subordinates of the plan and his wing was late in attacking, allowing the Union defenders time to complete their field fortifications. Bragg wrote after the war that if it were not for the loss of these hours, “our independence might have been won.” The Confederates still have control of the heights surrounding Chattanooga – Missionary Ridge, Lookout Mountain, and Raccoon Mountain – enabling them to

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