Chronological History of the American Civil War

P a g e | 179

Saturday, March 12, 1864 : Union Admiral David Dixon Porter (U.S.) leads a flotilla of 20 gunboats up the Red River, while General Nathaniel Banks (U.S.) led 27,000 men along the western shore of the river. Sunday, March 13, 1864 : At sunrise in Louisiana, the Red River Expedition was already underway, clearing obstructions laid in the water to make it impassable. The Union sailors cleared it that same day, and proceeded to bomb Fort DeRussy that was further up river. Monday, March 14, 1864 : As day breaks, the gunboats continued to fire onto Fort DeRussy. Union ground troops advance and soon captured the fort. This opens to river traffic for the Union on the Red River all the way to Alexandria, Louisiana, but at the cost of 317 more lives.

John Luther Jones (pictured) also known as “Casey Jones” was born this day in southeastern Missouri, lived most of his life in Jackson, Tennessee and would die April 30, 1900, near Vaughan, Mississippi. In the meantime, he would become an American railroad engineer whose death would be celebrated in the ballad “Casey Jones” which would make him an American folk hero. His regular route was through Hardeman County, Tennessee and the Mayor of Hickory Valley often complained to the railroad about his speeding through their township. Then one day as Casey got into town, he slowed the train to a crawl; got away and walked slowly beside the locomotive through the township. When he got through to the other city limits, he would get back on board his engine, blew his whistle and speed away again! Tuesday, March 15, 1864 : Admiral Porter (U.S.) did not celebrate

long after the capture of Fort DeRussy on the Red River. He left two ships there to finish destroying the fort, and took his remaining three gunboats upriver, in hopes of cutting off the Confederate boats before they could reach the rapids at Alexandria. On the land battle in Louisiana, Major General Banks (U.S.) runs into some fighting at Marksville Prairie. The new Pro-Union governor, Michael Hahn of Louisiana, is given powers previously held by the military governor, as President Lincoln attempts to transfer authority back to a civilian government, in those southern areas controlled by the Union. In Washington, President Lincoln issues a call, and orders draft for another 200,000 men for military services. Wednesday, March 16, 1864 : Major General Nathaniel P. Banks (U.S.) with Admiral David Porter (U.S.) occupies Alexandria, Louisiana on the Red River, with the assistance of nine Union ironclads and gunboats. Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest (CSA) sets out from Columbus, Mississippi, with a force of less than 3,000 men on a multipurpose expedition to recruit and re- outfit his troops, and disperse the Federals from West Tennessee and Kentucky. Confederates under Col. Roddy and Col. John M. Hughs raid the Nashville and Chattanooga Railroad, near Tullahoma, Tennessee, where the Rebels capture and destroy freight cars heavily laden with supplies for the Federal army at Chattanooga. Sixty Federal prisoners escape, and about twenty Yankee Negroes are killed during this Confederate operation in Middle Tennessee. Major General Sterling Price (CSA) supersedes Lieut. General Theophilus H. Holmes (CSA) in the command of the District of Arkansas. Thursday, March 17, 1864 : Lieut. General Ulysses S. Grant (U.S.) meets with Major General William T. Sherman (U.S.) at Nashville, Tennessee to discuss the war. Sherman now is in command of the Military Division of the Mississippi, which encompasses the Departments of the

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter