Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Sunday, January 31, 1864 : President Lincoln answers General Banks’ query regarding loyal people in Louisiana who wish to avoid taking oath of December 8, 1864: “You are at liberty to adopt any rule which shall admit to vote any unquestionably loyal free-state men and none others.” Meaning if you don’t take the oath you don’t vote. Daily Times (Leavenworth, Kansas) reports: “The complete system of martial law renders it impossible for a citizen or foreigner to pass through a single street without showing his papers. At every corner a bayonet is presented, and woe be to the man who has not the documents. All authority of foreign consuls is ignored. No redress is given an alien subject for outrages perpetrated. He is forced into the ranks and kept there.” The paper also reports : “There is between $120,000,000 and $140,000,000 of rebel counterfeit money in circulation.” From Collierville, Tennessee, Brig. General Grierson reports: “Our scouts are fighting rebels between here and Mount Pleasant. A courier sent in reports them about 1,000.” Monday, February 1, 1864 : What most do not know, Lincoln had made a deal with Bernard Kock, a successful cotton planter from Florida. He got Lincoln to sign on the dotted line the day before, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation (12/31/1863) that freed slaves in the South. This plan was to deport freed black slaves to an island off the coast of Haiti, where they would provide cheap labor for a cotton plantation. It might have worked, except the U.S. government did not uphold their end of financial support in this adventure and it failed in a riot the Haitian government had to put down. So now, President Abraham Lincoln orders a transport ship be sent to Ile a Vache, (Cow Island, Haiti) Santo Domingo, to bring back those Negro colonists wishing to return to the U.S., this retards Lincoln’s plan to set up colonies for Negroes. Lincoln also orders that 500,000 men be drafted on March 10, to serve for 3 years or for the duration of the war, whichever comes first. Tuesday, February 2, 1864 : Near La Grange, Tennessee, the attacking Confederate 3rd Mississippi Cavalry offered the Federals a battle, which they declined, electing to remain safely in their fort. The Confederates keep the Federals at bay, until they have rested and horses fed. In North Carolina steamer U.S.S. Underwriter is captured by rebels, Confederate blockade-runner, Preston , is caught and destroyed at Charleston, South Carolina. by Federals and Federal steamer, Mill Boy , is wrecked 9 miles above Jacksonport, Arkansas. Wednesday, February 3, 1864 : General William Tecumseh Sherman (U.S.) having moved to Vicksburg by boat, started his march to destroy the Mobile/Ohio railway at Meridian, Mississippi. His army consisted of 26,000 men. They were supposed to be accompanied by 7,600 cavalrymen under the command of General William Sooy Smith, (U.S.) but the horsemen were late in arriving for march. In what would become one of the most controversial acts of the American Civil War, General Sherman (U.S.) started what was to eventually be known as his ‘March Through Georgia’ - though in this case it was a march on a major railway in Mississippi, but with the intention of destroying anything that could be of use to the South, once his army had moved on. When the war started any deliberate attack on civilians, was all but unheard of. Now it was to form a specific part of Sherman’s tactics in the South. He believed that by inducing fear and terror, he could bring the war to a swift end. Confronting Sherman’s army was a Confederate force that also numbered 20,000, but they were demoralised, poorly equipped and poorly fed. Thursday, February 4, 1864 : At Moorefield, West Virginia, Confederates under Major General Jubal Early (CSA) commanding the Valley District, retreat over the mountains with their wagon train captured at Medley, with 1,250 head of cattle, 550 sheep, 80 prisoners, etc.

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