Chronological History of the American Civil War

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commands his men for another attack, which breaks the Union’s defense and the Yankees finally broke off the fighting and headed for Pontotoc, Mississippi. General Forrest realized that his men were nearly out of ammunition and did not order a pursuit. The Mississippi militia continues to harass Smith (U.S.) to retreat back toward the Tennessee state line. The Confederates suffered 144 men killed, wounded, or missing, while the Union lost 324. The engagement was significant, because with Smith’s retreat, Sherman (U.S.) would now be forced to return to Vicksburg. The battle also lifted Confederate morale and enhanced the reputation of Nathan Bedford Forrest, who had taken on a much larger Union force and won. Tuesday, February 23, 1864 : Major General George H. Thomas (U.S.) is determined to probe General Joseph E. Johnston’s army (CSA) at Dalton, Georgia, in hopes of finding a weak defense that could be broken. In Bolivar, Tennessee, John Houston Bills writes in his diary: “ I learn a Company of the 6th Tenn. Cavalry (Hursts) pass through town, take some 2 prisoners, shot into Wills’ Jewelry store & hit old Mrs. Ramsey, inflicting a bruise, not dangerous.” Wednesday, February 24, 1864 : Confederate General, Braxton Bragg becomes Jefferson Davis’ chief-of-staff, and has full control of all the South’s military operations. Many senior Confederate officers expressed their opposition to this appointment. In Washington, President Lincoln, agreed to an act to compensate farmers, to the tune of $300 for every slave, they allowed to go free, and enlists in the Union Army. The act also offered increased compensation for volunteers, increased penalties for draft resistance, allowed blacks to be subject to the draft, and ordered alternative service in non-combat roles for those who would not bear arms for religious reasons. Thursday, February 25, 1864 : At Crow Valley, Georgia, Union troops almost turned the Rebel right flank, but ultimately it held. This continued to prove that the Confederate forces around Dalton, Georgia were unbreakable. Friday, February 26, 1864 : Union General William Sooy Smith (U.S.) crosses the state line at Collierville, Tennessee with the remainder of his forces. He was forced to fight an eleven- mile running battle, before retreating across the state line. He was also reprimanded for disobeying his initial orders to start out for Meridian on February 1, and having disobeyed orders from Sherman. He was also criticized for putting Sherman’s Meridian Expedition in danger. Due to his failing health, Smith will leave the military in September1864 and return to civilian life as a civil engineer. He will go on to built the Glasgow Railroad Bridge. This was the first all-steel bridge to cross the Missouri River. At Canton, Mississippi, Major General William T. Sherman, (U.S.) continues to withdraw from Meridian back to Vicksburg, thus stopping his drive through Mississippi and to Alabama. Saturday, February 27, 1864 : A skirmish today at the Stone Church, near Catoosa Springs, Georgia, the final encounter during the Union’s attacks on Dalton. The Union failed to break the Rebel’s control surrounding this area. The Union generals did learn a valuable lesson, however; a direct attack against Dalton was foolish. and they had to find another way around to push onto Atlanta. With the collapse of prisoner exchanges a few months earlier over disagreements, about the handling of black soldiers, and to help relieve the overcrowding of prisoners at Belle Isle, Richmond, Virginia, a stockade (officially called Camp Sumter) was built at Andersonville, Georgia. Enclosing 16 acres of land, the prison was hastily constructed using slave labor, and was located in the woods near a railroad, but safely away from the front lines. Today, Union prisoners started to arrive. It was built to hold 10,000 men, but within six months more than

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