Chronological History of the American Civil War

P a g e | 26

Monday, October 28, 1861 : Hardeman County plantation owner/planter, merchant, and civic leader, John Houston Bills (The Pillars) wrote in his diary: “Employed Elias J. Hicks as overseer to my Cornucopia farm for 1862. He is also to attend to a few hands for M.T. Polk on his farm where he (Polk) proposes to make a corn, wheat, & oat crop. We pay him $250 in Cash. Furnish him 500 lbs in pork; Bread & milk; 1 half bb of molasses. He has one cow which he may bring on my place & he is to manage & work under my Direction. I furnish no cook nor washer woman. Circuit Court today. William Sellers died at the Hospital this morning at 10 minutes past 12. I am present.” A man in Braintree, Mass., was accused of spreading pro-secessionist statements. He was ridden out of town on a rail. Tuesday, October 29, 1861 : A total of 77 Union vessels had been brought together at or near Fort Monroe at Hampton Roads, Virginia. In addition to the captains and crews of the ships, who were under the command of Flag Officer Samuel du Pont, (pictured) there were assembled more than 16,000 soldiers under General Thomas W. Sherman (no relation to William Tecumseh Sherman, incidentally.) It was the biggest fleet, and the largest joint Army-Navy effort, ever assembled to this date in North America. They departed today for Port Royal, South Carolina, where they knew they would face considerable danger as it had been heavily fortified by the Confederacy. They faced dangers of another sort as the expedition was getting underway, as a gale had blown up off Cape Hatteras and all landlubbers were miserable. Wednesday, October 30, 1861 : The Confederates sink stone-filled boats downriver from Fort Donelson, near Dover, Tennessee to discourage Union gunboats from coming upriver, but their efforts are wasted when the river rises. Meanwhile, Grant’s troops capture Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. However, food is so scarce in the Chattanooga area that the Union soldiers are said to be stealing feed from the horses. Now the Federals are able to open the “Cracker Line” to supply the besieged Union army at Chattanooga, bringing in food, blankets, firewood, medicine, and ammunition along the water route from Bridgeport. Thursday, October, 31, 1861 : General Winfield Scott (U.S.) convinces Lincoln to grant his retirement request and General McClellan succeeds him. Confederate soldiers unsuccessfully attack a Union encampment in Morgantown, Kentucky. Friday, November 1, 1861 : General Scott formally relinquishes his post as General-in-Chief of the United States Army, allowing 34-year-old General George Brinton McClellan to assume control. President Lincoln and his cabinet bid General Scott farewell. In the Atlantic, the storm off Cape Hatteras leaves the Union Port Royal expedition scattered. During the storm, the transport U.S.S. Governor sinks, but the crew is rescued by the U.S.S. Sabine . In Missouri, without Lincoln's permission, General Fremont (U.S.) agrees to exchange prisoners with General Price. Fremont refuses to see any military personnel because he knows Lincoln has sent the letter ordering his removal. Saturday, November 2, 1861 : The British steamer Bermuda , a blockade runner carrying 2,000 bales of cotton, escapes from Charleston, South Carolina. General John C. Fremont finally relinquishes command, sending a farewell address to his men and returning to his wife in St. Louis. Jeff Thompson's Southern Raiders are active again in Missouri. The Union fleet approaches South Carolina and Port Royal. The governor of Tennessee requests that citizens furnish Confederate soldiers with rifles and shotguns due to a shortage of weapons. Sunday, November 3, 1861 : In Missouri, Major General David Hunter (U.S.) relieves Fremont of command. At Fairfax Court House, Virginia, General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson (CSA) prepares to leave for Winchester to begin his Valley Campaign. Monday, November 4, 1861 : A Union naval force arrived at Port Royal Bar. An anchorage here gave the Unionists dominance along the whole coast of South Carolina and allowed the blockade to be better enforced. Major General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson assumes command of the Shenandoah Valley District. Hardeman County plantation owner/planter, merchant, and civic leader, John Houston Bills (The

Made with FlippingBook Online newsletter