Chronological History of the American Civil War

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been slow to develop, due to a shortage of vessels and sailors to man them, but this was starting to change. Today, off Florida’s Cape Canaveral coast Union gunboats Connecticut seized a heavily-loaded British ship trying to sneak through the blockade. Monday, November 18, 1861 : In the War Between the States even the states sometimes could not decide which side to be on. Missouri had been under two governments for months, with the secessionist (but legally elected) Governor Claiborne Jackson ruling in exile in Arkansas. Kentucky, which had had a popular vote rejecting secession but declaring neutrality in any combat, was the scene of a “convention” in Russellville, Kentucky, today. This meeting, held by Confederate soldiers, issued a declaration of secession and formation of a Confederate state government. On the other hand, a group of North Carolinians met in Hatteras today for a similar cause, but they repudiated secession and declared loyalty to the Union. Such chaos in border states was perhaps to be expected...but North Carolina? Tuesday, November 19, 1861 : Jefferson Davis (CSA) called for the

construction of a major rail network in the Confederacy to allow for the rapid movement of troops and supplies. This would be complicated by the fact that railroads in different states were of different gauges of track. Henry W. Halleck (U.S.) assumes command of Union forces in Missouri. He was a successful lawyer and land developer and an important participant in the admission of California as a state. Meanwhile in Oklahoma, Col. Douglas H. Cooper, Confederate commander of the Indian Department, was unable to reconcile differences with the commander of a band of Unionist Creeks and Seminoles, Chief Opothleyahola (pictured). He followed him to where the Chief was building a fort at Red Fork on the Arkansas River. After a short fight that would be called “Battle of Round Mountains,” Opothleyahola’s men set fire to the prairie grass and retreated. CSA losses were 6 men and Chief Opothleyahola lost about 110 killed and wounded. Today, Julia Ward

Howe committed "Battle Hymn of the Republic" to paper. Wednesday, November 20, 1861 : General McClellan reviews 60,000 troops in Washington. Confederate General John B. Floyd pulls his troops out of an encampment near Gauley River, Virginia, losing tents and equipment during the hasty withdrawal. Secession ordinance is filed by Kentucky's Confederate government. Treasury Secretary Salmon Chase instructs James Pollock of the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia that “the trust of our people in God” should be declared on our national coins. Thursday, November 21, 1861 : Davis appoints General Lloyd Tilighman commander of Forts Henry and Donelson on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers, strategically important to the Confederate defense against invasion. Confederate General Albert S. Johnston calls for 10,000 volunteers and militia from Tennessee to help defend the area from the Union advance. Friday, November 22, 1861 : An engagement begins between Union batteries at Fort Pickens, Florida and Confederates at Forts McRee and Barrancas, and the Pensacola Naval Yard. Union ground forces are aided by the U.S.S. Niagara and the U.S.S. Richmond . The bombardment continued for two days, but the results were negligible on either side. Saturday, November 23, 1861 : Confederate Commissioners Slidell and Mason were moved to Massachusetts amid fears in Washington DC that the episode might lead to war between the UK and the North. Sunday, November 24, 1861 : At this time of year, the weather for fighting is not that ideal. Difficult as it may be for an army to fight, when they have insufficient protection from cold, it becomes downright impossible when the artillery can’t move, because the roads are half-frozen mud from fall rains and snows. At times like this more action shifts to the far South. A two day battle was finishing up in Pensacola, Florida. There were Confederate installations ashore. There was also a Union outpost, which was known as Fort Pickens. In concert with two Union gunboats, the USS Niagara and USS Richmond which were operating in the area, Fort Pickens’ guns were opened up on the Southern fortifications.

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