Chronological History of the American Civil War

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from the second story balcony of the Presidential home, the Confederate White House to the brick pavement below. Brig. General Samuel D. Sturgis (U.S.) leaves Memphis as he heads an expedition toward Ripley, Mississippi in search of Brig. General Nathan Bedford Forrest (CSA). With each passing month as this horrible war continues, the casualties totals keep rising as well. For Lincoln, it is an election year, he keeps hoping for an end to all this destruction and death. The death totals now have exceeded all the American casualties during World War II to 409,884. Sunday, May 1, 1864 : Major General C.C. Washburn (U.S.) in Memphis, had earlier ordered troop movements from Bethel to be at Purdy, Tennessee by April 30th. They are not there and not coming. They did not receive this command. In Virginia, Lieut. Col. John Mosby’s Cavalry (CSA) begins with the seizure of 8 of Major General Franz Sigel’s (U.S.) wagon train near Bunker Hill, in the Shenandoah Valley. The transport, U.S.S. Emma is captured at David's Ferry on the Red River, in Louisiana. In the Red River (Louisiana) Campaign, Colonel Bailey (U.S.) and his regiments of Maine and New York soldiers, dam across the Red River at Alexandria in hopes of raising the water levels. In Richmond, President Davis told the Confederate government that there was no hope of any form of recognition of the Confederacy by foreign governments, but that military efforts were going well and should lead soon to victory . [Little has changed in political speeches from that day to this, I do think the suits are a little nicer now.] In Georgia, General Sherman (U.S.) starts his drive toward Atlanta. Tuesday, May 3, 1864: Bolivar, Tennessee, John Houston Bills writes again: “Our town full of Feds. I have 3 of the wounded, a surgeon & his train of attendants. The town was Sacked last night. Every store broken & plundered. All the iron safes but one broken open & robbed. The soldiers appearing to be infuriated, officers unable to control them. From the cannon yesterday evening many shots entered the town. Mrs. Brooks’ house ruined by a shell. She had run to McNeals & this saved the life of herself & family. I find my nephew D. Hill amongst the wounded, shot through the shoulder & burnt.” General Sturgis (U.S.) is having to build pontoon bridges over the Hatchie River. That miscommunication of C.C. Washburn’s army had failed to stop Forrest on the east side of the river and now Forrest is safely back in Mississippi again. Commanding General, U.S. Grant (U.S.) issued orders to General George Meade the Army of the Potomac to get out of winter quarters, and get ready to march for Richmond. Wednesday, May 4, 1864 : General Meade’s Army of the Potomac, re-crossed the Rapidan River one last time in the area known as the Wilderness. General Meade (U.S.) with about 122,000 men, enter the Southern territory that was being defended by 66,000 Rebels. General Lee (CSA) counters his move to stay in front of the advancing army. The transport ship, U.S.S. Monday, May 2, 1864 : Bolivar, Tennessee settler, plantation owner, civic leader, merchant and diarist writes: “The Battle at 5 p.m. the Federal approach in great strenght 1 ¼ mile west of town. The fight commences & Forrest arrives. Cannon thunders & small arms crack. Forrest retreats & the Federals under General Sturgis (U.S.) (pictured) Colonel Karge (U.S.) with 700 cavalry in Bolivar enter town.” General Forrest (CSA) burns the bridges over the Hatchie River trapping the Federals on the West side of the river.

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