Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Wednesday, March 23, 1864 : Major General Forrest (CSA) leaves Jackson, Tennessee and heads towards Paducah, Kentucky, while part of his command advances to the Obion River. Federal troops under General Frederick Steele (U.S.) moved south from Little Rock to join General Nathaniel Banks (U.S.) in Louisiana for the Red River Expedition. In Selma, Alabama, inventor John P. Halligan (CSN) sets up shop to build his version of a submarine for use in Mobile Bay. Thursday, March 24, 1864 : General Forrest (CSA) troops capture Union City, Tennessee with 450 prisoners, among them the renegade Col Isaac Hawkins, 7th Tennessee Cavalry (U.S.) and most of his regiment, about 200 horses, and 500 small-arms. Captain John W. Beatty, 7th Tennessee Cavalry (U.S.) decided to surrender, apparently without much support from his subordinates. This was said to be one of the most disgraceful and cowardly acts of any Union commander, in Tennessee during the Civil War. After the war, Isaac Hawkins, from Huntingdon, Tennessee would be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. Intelligence reports were coming in from North Carolina indicating that the long-anticipated completion date had arrived early for the ramship C.S.S. Albemarle . This formidable vessel featured a dual layer of iron plating, instead of one as was usual in ironclads. The “torpedoes” (more like floating mines) were being pulled out of the river below Hamilton, North Carolina, to allow her to go to sea. Friday, March 25, 1864 : After a fifty hour ride from Jackson, Tennessee, Major General Forrest (CSA) leads the attack on Paducah, Kentucky, and quickly drives the enemy to their gunboats and forts. He held the town for ten hours, and could have held it longer, but found that small-pox was raging and evacuated the place. He did not leave before, capturing many stores and horses, burned up sixty bales of cotton, one steamer and the dry-dock, taking out 50 prisoners. Later in reporting on the raid, many newspapers stated that Forrest missed more than a hundred fine horses hidden by the Yankees. As a result, Forrest would send Colonel Abraham Buford back to Paducah in mid-April, and he will capture these fine bucks. One thing this raid did show the North, that in a short period of time Forrest could raise a fighting force and strike anytime and anyplace. In the face of his disastrous defeat at Olustee, Flordia, Federal General Truman Seymour (U.S.) received orders to turn his Florida command, over to Union Brigadier General J. P. Hatch (U.S.). Saturday, March 26, 1864 : General James Birdseye McPherson (U.S.) assumes command of the Union Army of the Tennessee after William T. Sherman (U.S.) is elevated to commander of the Division of the Mississippi, the overall leader in the West. Today, President Abraham Lincoln clarified that the amnesty declaring that U.S. military personnel who were (AWOL) absent without leave, would be permitted to return to their units without penalty by April 1, but did not apply to deserters, who had already been captured and put in prison. Sunday, March 27, 1864 : Brig. General Benjamin H. Grierson (U.S.) in Memphis, Tennessee orders 300 men to be well mounted, armed, and equipped, with five days’ light rations and a full supply of ammunition, to proceed to the Somerville - Bolivar area to assist Col. Hurst and the 6th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment (U.S.). Their mission is to find General Forrest (CSA) and his command. General Forrest is now turning his attention to Fort Pillow, ordering Brig. General James Chalmers (U.S.) to bring up the rest of the cavalry corps from Mississippi. The first order of business was dealing with the much-hated Colonel Hurst (U.S.) and his command. In Deepwater Township, Missouri, the Federals capture some of Quantrill’s notorious Bushwackers. They are given a quick trial, found guilty and ordered to be executed, the men

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