Chronological History of the American Civil War

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through the lung, after he threw his weapon down, capturing and paroling other Union soldiers in the process. Thursday, January 21, 1864 : During the “War of the Rebellion,” the nation was divided into Departments by the Union Army. They did not necessarily follow existing state borders, and frequently contained more than one state. The Department of Ohio, now commanded by Major General Ambrose Burnside (U.S.) for example, was immense, include all of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, the western half of Pennsylvania and for a time Missouri. Today, Burnside issued orders forbidding the distillation of whiskey. The reason given was a shortage of grain and the need to save what was available for food purposes. Unionists meet at Nashville, Tennessee and call for a Constitutional Convention to re-establish civil government and to abolish slavery. A report from Cincinnati states that two trains run daily from Chattanooga to Nashville, making the trip in 19 hours. Friday, January, 22, 1864 : After losing at Chickamauga, and not able to fight his way out of Chattanooga, Major General William S. Rosecrans (U.S.) is reassigned to military governor of the Department of the Missouri. This territory, although no longer under attack by official “Confederate” military forces, was riddled with militia units, which had started out as “home guards,” but in too many cases degenerated into bands of armed thugs and bushwhackers. Federal troops on expedition from Union City to Trenton, Tennessee, are unable to cross the Obion River due to the rising river and ice flow. Saturday, January 23, 1864 : President Lincoln approves a plan that allowed plantation owners Christopher F. Clay and Christopher F. Field, which both had ownership of several plantations in Mississippi and Arkansas, to set their slaves free, then re-hire them as free laborers to get plantations and farms back into production. This was just the latest in a succession of plans, (what might today be called “trial runs”) which Lincoln proposed in an attempt to solve the “Negro problem.” Lincoln, like nearly all whites including harden abolitionists, found it inconceivable that black and white could ever live as equals. The buyout plan did not fly and was quietly abandoned. Sunday, January 24, 1864 : The major fronts were quiet on this day. Federal expedition starts up the James River in Virginia, with the assistance of the gunboats, U.S.S. General Jesup, U.S.S. Smith Briggs , and the transport, U.S.S. George Washington . They leave Norfolk for Newport News, then to Brandon near Fort Powhatan, where a local doctor and his property is seized for dealing with the Confederates, while the U.S.S. General Jesup seizes two blockade runners, the sloop Birdloe of Warwick , and the schooner, Thomas F. Dawson , seizing gold, silver, U.S. and Confederate banknotes, etc. Some skirmishes occurred near Natchez, Mississippi and Tazewell, Tennessee. Some Union pickets failed to remain alert near Love’s Hill, Tennessee, and were captured. Monday, January 25, 1864 : Federals leave from Scottsboro, Alabama, toward Rome, Georgia. Brig. General Morgan L. Smith (U.S.) constructs a pontoon bridge across the Coosa River, capturing prisoners, forage, etc, including $5,700 in Confederate money which proved to have been a State fund for the relief of soldiers’ families. At Bayou Grande, Florida, the Federals prepare to move on Mobile, Alabama. Bombarded by Union batteries on Fort Sumter in South Carolina continues and skirmishes with General Nathan Bedford Forrest (CSA) as he attacks and defeats, General William Sooy Smith (U.S.) near Mount Pleasant, in northwest Mississippi close to the Tennessee line. In Confederate held parishes of Louisiana, the government is organized around General Henry W. Allen, (CSA) as he is elected governor of Confederate held part of the state. Shreveport, now is the Confederate capital of Louisiana.

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