Chronological History of the American Civil War
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Pillars) wrote in his diary: “Fine morning. With M.P. Miller, I visit our encampment at Columbus. We left here at 12 PM & arrive in Camp at 2am. Sleep at Capt Wood’s tent.” Tuesday, November 5, 1861 : John Houston Bills continues in his diary: “In camp at Columbus. I find my son Leonidus & son-in-law Wood & my nephew Albert T. McNeal & many friends. The Camp covers an area of 5,000 acres of land which is swarmed with men, horses, & tents. Company Quarter Masters department, such a display of men & guns & swords & buttons, I have never seen. The fortifications are very formidable & nearly completed on ½ under the bluff.” Wednesday, November 6, 1861 : The South holds elections, which prove that Davis is still popular and respected. Jefferson Davis is elected to a six year term of office as president of the Confederacy and is again joined by Alexander Stephens as vice president. James A Naismith, the inventor of basketball is born in Ontario, Canada. Thursday, November 7, 1861 : A Union force of 3,500 soldiers under General Ulysses S. Grant (U.S.) leaves Cairo, Illinois for a point near Columbus, Kentucky on the
Mississippi River. A battle at Belmont, Missouri, left about 100 Unionist and 261 Confederate soldiers dead. Over 1,000 men were reported as missing from both sides. Steaming right in between Fort Beauregard on Bay Point and Fort Walker on Hilton Head, Samuel du Pont scattered the defending Confederate fleet (all four ships of it) and commenced shelling in both directions. The Southern ships were soon reduced to evacuating first the southern island (Hilton Head) and then the northern. The Federal ships’ guns proved extremely accurate, and the 12,000 troops under General Thomas Sherman (U.S.) (pictured) landed to take them over. This was the largest amphibious landing in U.S. history to date. This outpost was held for the rest of the war, and served as a valuable refueling stop for the Atlantic squadron and blockading fleet.
Friday, November 8, 1861 : The Union ship San Jacinto captures Confederate commissioners to Europe, Mason and Slidell, and their aides, as they leave Cuba aboard the British mail ship Trent . The Trent is allowed to continue to England, but the incident creates the possibility of armed conflict between the United States and Britain. General Lee (CSA) arrives in Savannah to take command of a large territory that was blockaded and poorly manned. News of the capture of Port Royal sends many residents of Savannah, Georgia inland. The pro-Union population of east Tennessee, tired of waiting for Federal help, begins their own campaign against the Confederacy by burning bridges and harassing the local Confederate commander, Brigadier General Felix Zollicoffer, who calls for reinforcements. Saturday, November 9, 1861 : The Union force in South Carolina captures Beaufort without a fight and blockades the Broad River, cutting off communication between Savannah and Charleston. Union Major General Henry W. Halleck is assigned command of the Department of the Missouri, encompassing Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, and Kentucky west of the Cumberland River, including Grant's command. General William T. Sherman (U.S.) is replaced by General Don Carlos Buell (U.S.). Sunday, November 10, 1861 : Jefferson Davis wrote to Gen. Joseph Eggleston Johnston (CSA) today, although trying to be encouraging admitted “we are restricted in our capacity to reinforce by want of arms.” The problem was, there weren’t enough guns to go around. Gov. Harris asks the people of Tennessee to donate “every double-barrel shot-gun and rifle they have, to arm the troops now offering their services.” Union troops expand their hold on Port Royal, South Carolina by carrying out an expedition against Braddock's Point. The last train carrying the Stonewall Brigade (CSA) to Winchester leaves Manassas, arriving at Strasburg in northern Virginia at sundown. An advertisement in the Memphis Daily Appeal reads: “Evergreens, Strawberry Plants, including the famous Wilson's Seedling, and all other varieties. The finest lot of Apple Trees, three years growth, ever seen in any country. All kinds of Peaches, Plums, Apricots, Cherries, etc. Orders left at the store of J. E. Merriman & Co., 253 Main Street, or sent by mail, will receive prompt attention. Cash payments required in all instances.”
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