Chronological History of the American Civil War

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At Big Shanty and near Stiles Borough, Georgia, Major General William T. Sherman (U.S.) prepares to attack General Joseph E. Johnston (CSA) at Pine Mountain. Friday, June 10, 1864 : The South is desperate. The Confederate Congress introduced military service for all men in the South aged between 17 and 70. General Forrest (CSA) guesses right, about where General Sturgis (U.S.) is headed and General Forest (CSA) picks the muddy crossroad near Guntown, Mississippi to attack a Union force twice his size. He chooses Brice’s Crossroads, which features four muddy roads, heavily wooded areas, and the natural boundary of Tishomingo Creek, which has only one bridge going east to west. With the Tennesseans still pressing, and by the time General Sturgis (U.S.) finally orders a general retreat, the retreat bottlenecked at the bridge, and a real panick developed among the trapped Union soldiers instead. The ensuing wild flight, and pursuit of retreating Union troops led all the way back to Memphis, which ran across six counties. before the exhausted Confederates retired from the battle. The Confederates suffer 492 casualties to the Union’s 2,240 (including 1,500 prisoners). General Forrest (CSA) captures huge supplies of arms, artillery, and ammunition as well as plenty of stores. General Sturgis (U.S.) suffers a demotion and exile to the far West to fight Indians. After the battle, the Union Army again accuses Forrest of massacring black soldiers. Saturday, June 11, 1864 : Major General Philip Sheridan (U.S.) mounts a large-scale cavalry raid, threatening to cut the Virginia Central Railroad at Trevilian Station. Meanwhile, U.S. General David Hunter burns the Virginia Military Institute, and then at the historic Washington College, begins looting and allegedly even stabling horses killing them in the main the buildings. The major military consequence of this was that Hunter’s delay allowed Jubal Early (CSA) to join forces with Breckinridge (CSA) at Lynchburg. In Bolivar, Tennessee, diarist, settler, planter John Houston Bills of the Pillars writes: “Tom Ruffin of Kaizers Scouts comes in on foot, informs us, he together with my son, Leonidas Bills were taken prisoner on Monday last in Tishomingo County. He escaped. Leonidas yet held by the Federals.” Sunday, June 12, 1864 : Union General Ulysses S. Grant pulls his troops from their positions after days of not fighting and suffering a devastating defeat at Cold Harbor, Virginia, on June 3, and moves south. This time instead of a direct attack on Richmond, he would try to cut all supply lines into there. Brig. General John Hunt Morgan’s (CSA) Cavalry forces retreat to Abingdon, Virginia ending his raid into Kentucky. Yesterday, General Sheridan (U.S.) had the advantage, but after seven assaults, today on the Virginia Central Railroad at Trevilian Station by his cavalry divisions, they were repulsed with heavy losses. Sheridan (U.S.) withdraws his force to rejoin Grant’s army. The battle was a tactical victory for the Confederates and Sheridan failed to achieve his goal of permanently destroying the Virginia Central Railroad or of him linking up with General David Hunter (U.S.). Union casualties were 1,007 (102 killed, 470 wounded, and 435 missing or captured). Confederate losses were reported as 612. This was the bloodiest and largest all- cavalry engagement during the war. Monday, June 13, 1864 : The bulk of Grant’s force was on the move south to the James River in Virginia. As they had done for six weeks, the Confederates stayed between Richmond and the Yankees. Lee blocked the road to Richmond, but Grant was after a different target now. After the experience of Cold Harbor, Grant decided to take the rail center at Petersburg, 23 miles south of Richmond. Today, the USS Kearsarge sailed from Dover, England. Captain Winslow

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