Chronological History of the American Civil War

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Friday, April 1, 1864 : In Louisiana, the Union forces entered the town of Natchitoches. Once there, a small skirmish broke out between the Federals and the Confederate military unit. More skirmishes at Arkadelphia, Arkansas, as Major General Frederick Steele (U.S.), heads south to assist Major General Nathaniel P. Banks (U.S.), in the Red River Campaign, in Louisiana. U.S. Army transport, U.S.S. Maple Leaf, returning from carrying troops to Palatka, Florida, was destroyed by a Confederate torpedo in the St. John's River. She was one of several victims in this river, which Southerners had mined with twelve floating torpedoes, each containing 70 pounds of powder. Saturday, April 2, 1864 : Fighting broke out between both sides at Crump’s Hill, (Piney Woods) Louisiana in the Red River Campaign, and at Spoonville/Antoine, Arkansas along the Wolf Creek. Confederates destroyed two lighthouses at Cape Lookout, North Carolina. In Bolivar, Tennessee John Houston Bills writes again in his diary from the Pillars, “Gen. Forrest slept at Col Neely’s last night; went on to Jackson today, his army in that direction, some of it west. Capt. Nat Roberts died today of pneumonia.” Sunday, April 3, 1864 : In West Tennessee, Col. George Waring (U.S.) in a message to Brig. General Grierson, (U.S.) “My advance guard, the Nineteenth Pennsylvania Cavalry, learned from citizens and negroes that the enemy was stationed in heavy force in the swamps between Leak’s and Oakland, also that from 3,000 or 5,000 rebels under Neely and McCulloch were encamped from 3 to 6 miles east of Oakland on the Somerville road.” Col. Neely (CSA) tried to pull them into a fight, but Waring backed away to Raleigh, Tennessee. Major General Banks (U.S.) began his preliminary deployments for the Red River campaign, ironclads U.S.S. Eastport, U.S.S. Mound City, U.S.S. Osage, U.S.S. Ozark, U.S.S. Neosho, U.S.S. Chillicothe, U.S.S. Pittsburgh, and U.S.S. Louisville and steamers U.S.S. Fort Hindman, U.S.S. Lexington, and U.S.S. Cricket convoyed Major General A. J. Smith’s (U.S.) corps from Alexandria to Grand Ecore, Louisiana. The troops disembarked (with the exclusion of a division under Brigadier General T. Kilby Smith) and marched to join General Banks (U.S.) at Natchitoches for an overland assault on Shreveport, to be supported by ships of the Mississippi Squadron (U.S.). Monday, April 4, 1864 : During the Camden Expedition in southwestern Arkansas, Union forces sought a ford (shallow crossing) to cross the Little Missouri River, because other roads were impassible. They reached Elkin’s Ferry before the Confederates. As they crossed, the Confederates attempted to stop them, but to no avail. The Confederates lose 54 men trying to stop the Union from crossing, and 38 Union soldiers never made it across. Forces under Brig. General Judson Kilpatrick (U.S.) at Kings and Queens Courthouse, Virginia attack 1,200 rebels and destroyed the military stores, and take 35 prisoners. In Washington, D.C., the U.S. House of Representatives passes a resolution denouncing any intentions by Napoleon III of France to install a monarchy in Mexico under Maximilian, the younger brother of the Austrian emperor Franz Joseph I. Lincoln had enough to worry about here, without France trying taking over Mexico. He knew that could never be a good thing for the U.S. Tuesday, April 5, 1864 : I think the Federals in Nashville are having trouble keeping horses. The Nashville Daily Times reports: “Any soldier selling or offering for sale a horse or mule, or any citizen purchasing the same of a soldier, will be arrested and punished. No negro will be permitted to sell or offer for sale any horse or mule without a special permit from this office, on proof of ownership, and any citizen purchasing a horse or mule from any negro without such permit will be arrested and punished.”

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